With the security market becoming flooded with operators looking for work, it has become more important to both network, and, make your resume stand out from the hundreds of others received in recruiters’ inboxes. Having completed FPOSi during my cp course, I completed MIRA with Exmed, to give my resume an edge over others, however MIRA is also becoming more popular, so the next step up in the first aid world is a PHTLS qualification.
Exmeds TCCC course is certified by the NAEMT, now although it may not be recognised in the UK market, it may be recognised by American clients in hostile environments, complimenting the British recognised FPOSi and the MIRA. The TCCC course is fully compliant with the Department of Defence’s Committee on Tactical Combat Casualty Care (CoTCCC) guidelines. It is the only TCCC course endorsed by the American College of Surgeons.
Upon booking onto the course with Exmed I received what can only be described as a massive PHTLS Military textbook, accompanied by a DVD. I also booked accommodation at Pengethley Manor, where Exmed are now located.
First up was introductions to the team, and other students. After going round the room I started getting a little worried as there was a doctor, a couple of Exmed instructors and paramedics doing the course for CPD, there was myself and a firearms police officer who were not healthcare professionals. It was a little intimidating after the introductions knowing that you are the weakest link! Once the course started however I felt a bit better as this course is about tactical combat care, very similar to the theme that runs through team medic cadres in the forces.
After the intro to the course we moved onto Care Under Fire which included, tourniquets, how to extract a casualty from a potentially harmful situation, practicing 2 man carry etc.
Once CUF had been covered we moved onto airway management, including the practice of surgical airways on live tissue and needle decompression including practicing on dummies.
After the first day it’s clear that the TCCC course is an American military course, but it is one that fills the gap between between civilian FPOSi courses and contractors working in hostile environments.
The second day was some classroom lessons followed by some more practical lessons that included practicing cannulation, and F.A.S.T.1 and a new IO method of drilling into the bone. There was also practical lessons on fitting pelvis splints, SAM splints and Kendrick splints. After lessons came exam time, the first was a written/multiple choice exam from NAEMT with 50 questions and 1 hour to answer, then the second was a scenario which was set inside one of Exmeds environmental rooms. This was a darkened room with smoke and a recording of machine gun fire and helicopters.
All of the medical skills had been taught on the MIRA course that I completed with Exmed the previous year, however it was good to get a refresher. The CUF I had previously had it drilled into me during Team Medic cadres in the military, but again was a good refresher, and it is also another recognised qualification to add to my resume.
Overall I thoroughly enjoyed the course, the instructors have a wealth of knowledge and don’t mind answering any questions or explaining anything someone doesn’t understand and generally make it a relaxing environment to learn (unless in a scenario!), with plenty of hands on when possible, thoroughly recommended! For more information on Exmed courses and job opportunities see www.exmed.co.uk