By Staff Sgt. Luis P. Valdespino, USMC
Special to American Forces Press Service
April 3, 2008 - The Afghan National Police Central Training Center graduated 24 police officers today from the first course for trauma-assistance personnel taught by U.S. Navy hospital corpsmen. Three Combined Security Transition Command Afghanistan Navy corpsmen from the ANP Medical Embedded Training Team here taught the eight-week course, which gives the ANP its first personnel certified in basic first aid and medical care skills.
"Just being able to put on a proper (wound) dressing is going to increase the probability of (saving policemen's lives) tenfold," said course instructor Petty Officer 1st Class Ed W. Scheinert, an Oxnard, Calif., native deployed to Afghanistan from Naval Station North Island, Calif.
The METT sailors said they modeled the course after the combat medic course taught to Afghan National Army soldiers, because ANP are just as likely as ANA soldiers to have contact with enemy fighters.
TAP Class 001 students learned to apply bandages and tourniquets and to correctly give intravenous injections, said Scheinert. They each successfully gave another student an IV injection.
Students said they benefited from the lectures and practical application.
Ahmad Fawad, one of two honor graduates, said he believes with confidence that he will be able to help his fellow police in medical emergencies.
Chief Petty Officer Manuel A. Rodriguez, a course instructor originally from Carolina, Puerto Rico, and deployed to Afghanistan from the Sewells Point Branch Medical Clinic, Norfolk, Va., said he plans to recommend six graduates to become future course instructors.
The TAP students graduated at a shared ceremony with ANP in other courses at the training center, then held a follow-up ceremony in their classroom. Each TAP graduate received a certificate, a TAP patch to wear on his uniform and a medical kit.
"That badge that you're wearing not only makes you a better (policeman), but (shows) you have the skills to help your fellow police," said Senior Chief Petty Officer Martin V. Aquino, senior enlisted advisor with the Combined Security Transition Command surgeon's office.
Scheinert said future classes will include ANP, Afghan National Civil Order Police and Afghan Border Police. TAP Class 002 is scheduled to begin April 12.
(Marine Staff Sgt. Luis P. Valdespino serves with Combined Security Transition Command Afghanistan Public Affairs.)