Our Team: Chris and Dan

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Our EMT Type 1 teams at the Trauma Stabilization Points in Mosul are made of medical professionals from all walks of life. Here’s more in the series about Our Team, what they learned, and how their experience was volunteering with GRM. Chris (a medic and a fireman in his spare time) and Dan (who also teaches remote medicine courses) share some of their thoughts on being part of GRM. 

Thank you Chris and Dan!

Chris:

My experience in Mosul, Iraq, was profound.  I’ve worked all around the world under austere conditions and the time spent with you was exceptional.  Your Trauma Stabilization Points provide a meaningful resource without which combat related mortality rates would soar.  Commitment to this endeavor was complimented by strong logistics, situational awareness and a caring heart.  Truly, you are extraordinary people and it was a privilege to work with you.  I look forward to joining you again in your efforts to preserve life and dignity.

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Dan:

I had the pleasure of working with GRM during the final days of ISIS in Mosul. During that period there was an uptick in suicide bombings, collateral damage from airstrikes, and combat related casualties. Despite having been a medic for more than a decade I saw the worst patients of my career during my time in Mosul. No demographic was spared. Infants, children, women, and the elderly all suffered grievous illnesses and injuries. Those patients were brought to the Trauma Stabilization Point (TSP) run by GRM where myself and the multidisciplinary team of combat veterans, RNs, Paramedics, and Physicians provided an incredible level of care considering the austere conditions we were working in. One particular pediatric arrest comes to mind as I reflect on the care delivered. To my memory, I can recall no difference between the care provided to that infant in the TSP and what I have provided in well resourced areas of the United States.

The strong working relationship between GRM and the partner forces in the area was immediately apparent as the special forces soldiers were consistently brought to us for treatment of acute injuries as well for ongoing care including dressing changes and removal of stitches.

Despite my time in Mosul being physically and emotionally exhausting it was also one of the most rewarding. I know we made a difference and I’m honored to have been included in the team GRM deployed.

Our Team: Eli Miller

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This is the first in a series of posts introducing you – our team abroad – to our team here in the field. Eli Miller, a Paramedic who joined us from Alabama, just as GRM moved our Trauma Stabilization Points into the Old City of Mosul for the final push of the battle. A former Combat Medic in the US Army, Eli is has not only advanced training like ACLS, PALS, and WEMT, but has experience with All Hazards Disaster Response and Field Management of Chemical and Biocasualty.

While he’s not in the field, he runs Red Meat Steel in Alabama – check them out!

He recently talked about some lessons learned while on the frontline. Thank you Eli for being a part of our team!

40 Thoughts from being forward in flip flops.

1. Tactical Combat Casualty Care works and the guidelines at each update will give your patient the greatest chance of survival if you do your part.

2. A. C. T. Assess. Cease life threats. Treat everything else. (Direct Pressure LLC)

3. HABC – Hemorrhage Airway Breathing Circulation. You can have a great airway and respirations but if your patient is dumping that life liquid called blood at each breath its completely invalid.

4. A rapid trauma assessment is just that, rapid.

5. Don’t get trauma fixation. Compensation is only good for so long.

6. If you are going to change the outcome it will be done in 10 minutes or less.

7. Take ownership of your patient.

8. Delegate tasks. This makes you talk and talking keeps you calm and allows you to better focus on the life threats.

9. Triage saves lives. Good triage saves more.

10. The job of a line medic is to be a force multiplier plain and simple.

11. Do not take unnecessary risks, there are plenty that will be necessary.

12. Great BLS can prevent the need for good ALS.

13. Anything other than calm can be a killer in itself. If you need to chemically calm your patient then snow hard and snow fast.

14. If you think you are going to have to drop a tube you probably will. Have it prepped. Have your meds ready.

15. Forget the LMA, go I-Gel all the way.

16. Unlike the TSA, TXA ( Tranexamic acid ) actually works. Learn it.

17. Tiny holes on the outside often mean big holes on the inside.

18. Tourniquets go high and tight, it’s that simple. Put them on single bones. When they are tight, tighten them some more.

19. Positional hypotension is still hypotension. Proper positioning prevents poor perfusion.

20. There are a million reasons to carry gorilla tape and not a single one to not.

21. You can have great interventions but it doesn’t mean jack if you don’t have even better timing.

22. If you don’t believe your interventions can fail then you probably haven’t had them tested.

23. Reassess , reassess , and reassess some more.

24. Trauma naked is trauma naked even at 120 outside. Keep your patient warm.

25. Shitty care makes shocky patients real quick.

26. You never know as much as you think you do when you need it.

27. Stay humble, someone always knows more.

28. When you are the only one in the back of truck with a patient, no one knows more than you.

29. Sacrifice time, sacrifice sleep, sacrifice equipment but don’t sacrifice you.

30. Be selfish. If you don’t take care of you, you cannot take care of your patient.

31. Don’t get conflicted. When you hand off your patient they are no longer your patient or your responsibility . Relax, you will get another shortly.

32. You cannot save everyone and the way it normally goes it will be that truly innocent child that passes and the oxygen thief that lives.

33. If you see a canoe there is probably nothing you can do that will change the outcome.

34. Work the holes not the soul. Deep packing and direct pressure comes before deep prayer.

35. There is a reason it always be said as practicing medicine.

36. Mistakes are made once. Fuck ups are repeated.

37. “Anything that falls under something with triad in the name is going to make for a bad time.” – Doc Smiley

38. If knowledge is half the battle, luck is the other half.

39. When working an ice cream patient (GSW to the butt) and your packing wounds only to see scars exactly an inch above the entrance and exit where they where butt shot before, let all the other medics know. There is humor where there is no Good Humor.

40. There are fucking reporters and reporters that give a fuck. Not much in between the world over.

“You got to play for keeps cause aces tend to stick with dealers” Machine Gun Kelly

-Just a pig farmer

GRM – July 2017 Newsletter – Iraq

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GRM_HEADER

Dear friends,

Whatever your connections to Global Response Management, be it as a colleague, donor, family member, social media watcher, or past, present or future volunteer, we consider all of you part of our community. This is the first of a monthly newsletter about the goings-on here at GRM.

GRM was born out of the desire to provide frontline, first response medical care to those in need – no matter the patient population or situation. Our Executive Director and co founder, Pete Reed, saw the visible and measurable gaps in pre-hospital care during the battle for Mosul. The urban warfare created nearly impossible working conditions for many international NGOs, many of whom provide specialized surgical care, but could not deploy teams versed in prehospital trauma care close enough to the front line.

Created to bring cohesiveness to a number of smaller NGOs trying to make a difference, GRM drew from a diverse roster of experienced medical professionals. Paramedics like Carlo with Tactical Combat Casualty Care experience, Critical Care Nurses like Kyirsti, and Emergency Department physicians like Dr. Brecknell built our Trauma Stabilization Points capable of mass casualty triage, high quality patient care, and timely transport of patients to higher levels of care.

What does this mean for all of you? It means because of your support, we were able to save thousands of lives during the battle for Mosul. This battle is nearly over, but there are more to come in the near future, and our teams will be here to respond.

To do this, we need your help. Global Response Management is an officially registered NGO (with our 501c3 confirmation in process), always open to qualified new volunteers, monetary donations, and supplies. Our global community is a critical part of our work in the field, and we thank you for your support. Feel free to reach out to us with any questions, and please follow us on social media and spread the word!

Sincerely,

The Team at Global Response Management

Instagram: @global.response
Twitter: @GRM_Global
Web: http://www.global-response.org

Images by Alex Potter (1,2) Claire Thomas (3,4)