Self-Aid Buddy Care: 120th Airlift Wing Hosts Expeditionary Training

U.S. Air Force A1C Erik Fletcher, a material management journeyman from the 120th Logistics Readiness Squadron, practices keeping a patients air passage clear during a Self Aid Buddy Care training session, January 4, 2020, at Great Falls, Mt. Fletcher was the first volunteer from his group to receive the hands on portion from the training. (U.S. Air Force photo by U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Jackson N Haddon)
January 05, 2020

GREAT FALLS, Mont. – Members of the 120th Airlift Wing, Montana Air National Guard trained on Self-Aid Buddy Care here Jan. 4, 2020.

Maj. Bill Thompson, Medical Administrative Officer for the 120th Medical Group spearheaded the training in order to help the wing achieve its mission.

“With this new expeditionary skills ramp-up about four years ago, I took over the program and have been managing it in a sense,” said Thompson. “It took some work to get this going. It’s a new kind of training. We had to devise and develop a script that would allow more than just the instructors to get something out of the training and to understand what the hands-on requirements were.”

The training was separated into five parts. The first was a series of video presentations on the nature of injuries that served as a refresher to the training. Next, the participants split into groups and joined one of the four stations set-up to get a more hands-on experience.

“This training is due every 48 months as part of full spectrum medical readiness,” said Thompson. “We also try to do this within six months to a year before members deploy. The training involves everything from life-saving steps, airway management, hot or cold injuries, snake bites, you name it — anything that has to do with life threatening injuries.”

SABC is an important step for readiness, but training is only as good as the results it produces.

“It’s been a good result, we’ve had a lot of good positive feedback,” said Thompson. “People feel like they’re prepared, when they get ready to deploy, to take care of their buddy.”