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Deployed medics train U.S. embassy employees in Qatar

OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM (AFPN) -- A group of medics deployed to Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, provided emergency medical training recently to employees of the U.S. embassy in the country.

More than 70 U.S. citizens and foreign-service nationals who work at the U.S. Embassy Doha, Qatar, attended the self aid buddy care training given by members of the 379th Expeditionary Medical Group.

"If we had an actual mass-casualty contingency, we would be overwhelmed with people looking to us for help," said Marine Staff. Sgt. Duane Andrews, one of several Marines assigned to the embassy who attended the course. "This training will help the employees take care of themselves and each other."

Members of the 379th EMG conducted the training after receiving a request from the embassy to assist with its ongoing mass-casualty training program.

The self aid buddy care course was especially valuable for the Marines because they do not receive a lot of professional training while assigned to embassy duty, Andrews said.

The training was patterned after the mandatory course required for all Air Force members, according to Staff Sgt. Chris Hoar, a medical technician assigned to the 379th EMG.

Hoar, a certified CPR instructor, led the two-day training session.

"These are first-responder types of first aid measures necessary until the medical professionals arrive," said Hoar, deployed to Al Udeid from Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England. "We want them to be able to take care of each other using the resources they have readily available."

The employees processed through four stations for hands-on training in the areas of airway management, bleeding and shock, slings and splints, and patient transport. The training also included an Air Force-produced video on emergency medical procedures.

"This is training that applies to every day life," Hoar said. "I think all people, military and civilian, should take self aid buddy care training, and hope they never have to use it."

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