ŻARY, Poland — U.S. Soldiers from 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, and Polish soldiers from 34th Armored Cavalry Brigade, 11th Armored Cavalry Division, instructed a refresher course in first aid, city hall, Żary, Poland, Nov. 2.
The class was given to 40 representatives of eight countries in attending the European Union project called Collaborative Consumption- Versus Wasting. The class seeks to prepare participants to take life-saving action in unexpected emergencies until professional aid arrives.
The 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, is currently in Europe to support Atlantic Resolve. Atlantic Resolve is a U.S. endeavor to fulfill NATO commitments by rotating U.S. -based units throughout the European theater and training with NATO Allies and partners.
The first aid class consisted of instructions and demonstrations on how to utilize materials to wrap wounds and stabilize injured limbs. Instructors taught how to apply tourniquets and create slings from items such as handkerchiefs and shoelaces.
Instructors also covered choking and blocked airways, seizures and CPR steps.
Soldiers from both units split into groups, demonstrating together how to provide first aid. The groups were separated by managing bleeding and managing fractures.
Any sort of cross training and collaboration with another army is beneficial, said U.S. Army Maj. Andrew Bloom, brigade surgeon, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division. It is a good thing for young adults to see two different uniforms working well together.
With medicine, the language barrier seems to matter less, he said. First aid is first aid.
"It's a fundamental human experience, getting hurt and getting sick," Bloom said. "So much of that is a team effort, medicine is a team sport."
The common experience and necessity allowed the town to utilize community resources to reach students in the program. The knowledge and skills used in the first aid class may still be used outside the course.
"Everybody has to know it, from the youngest to the oldest," said Olaf Napiórkowski, deputy mayor of Żary. "We never know when something will happen and when we may see somebody who is injured."