U.S., German medics, nurses participate in joint medical conference
Army Spc. Ngeno applies a leg splint to a German Soldier at the Medical Assistant Personnel Training Conference at the German Central Military Hospital in Koblenz, Germany. (U.S. Army photo by Capt. Jerome Ferrin)
KOBLENZ, Germany – Medics and nurses from the 30th Medical Brigade and Regional Health Command-Europe participated in the inaugural Medical Assistant Personnel Training Conference with German military medics and nurses from the Bundeswehr Joint Medical Service recently.
German Lt. Col. Till Perrey, head of section, International Cooperation section of the German Medical Service Headquarters welcomed participants to the conference at Falckenstein Kaserne with the theme, “know each other, before you need each other.”
During the conference the Soldiers trained on pre-hospital care in tactical and clinical settings, lessons learned, and built relationships to enhance interoperability. As a part of the training, the Soldiers were treated to a “behind the scenes” tour of the Central Military Hospital in Koblenz. The tour provided insight into the facilities, equipment, and different approaches to staffing used by Joint Medical Service. Participants said a noticeable difference between the two nations could be seen in medical staffing. U.S. Army medicine relies on a myriad of officer positions while the German medical service opens many ancillary medical specialties to enlisted personnel.
While touring the emergency department German Joint Medical Service Master Sgt. Alexandra Pohlmann, an anesthesia nurse, talked about her experiences and the obstacles her military medical team faced while transporting Ebola patients across Africa. Pohlmann was a part of the German relief response to the Ebola crisis in western Africa. She shared lessons learned and displayed equipment utilized to protect medical personnel while transporting patients with highly contagious diseases.
After touring the hospital the group parked German and U.S. field ambulances side by side for a hands-on demonstration. U.S. Army Sgt. Andrew J. Esplana and Spc. Bernard K. Ngeno, medics from the 421st Multifunctional Medical Battalion, demonstrated the capabilities of their field ambulance and explained how they provide mobile care and transportation for casualties on the battlefield.
Participants from both countries were able to share their experiences and contrast their different approaches to emergency medicine during numerous informal training sessions.
“It was a mutual learning experience; learning from each other’s strengths and weaknesses. At the end of the day we came together to provide better care for our patients,” said Army Sgt. Cedrick D. Warren, medic 212th Combat Support Hospital.
Leaders said they hope to repeat this conference in the future, making it an annual event to help build interoperability with other NATO forces and contribute to a “Strong Europe.”
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