Archive for June, 2008

Antebellum: ATEC

So far the rehearsals have gone well. We managed to deploy our Battalion Casualty Station in twenty minutes. Still, I think we can do better than that.

Setting up is one thing. The next examinable portion is the resuscitation procedures. Basically when severely wounded casualties come in, some life-saving procedures have to be carried out stat. We are like the A&E of the battlefield. In fact, many of these procedures are indeed used in an ordinary A&E department. For example, Endotracheal Intubation (ETT) is used to ensure that a patient can breathe even though his neck muscles have failed. For next week’s exercise I will be one of the medics assisting at the resus tables, and being examined as well!

This week we have been practicing the resuscitation procedures. So far it is moving along well. I just hope I don’t make any silly mistakes.


Terror on Rotors

Yesterday we had some helicopter drills. It was really cool. In the morning we went to Sembawang Airbase to familiarize ourselves with the Super Puma helicopter. There are protocols to be followed when mounting a helicopter that is still running. For example, one avoids running near the tail of the helicopter. This is to avoid being chopped up by the tail rotor. Much of the drills involved running towards the helicopter with a stretcher and improvised casualties. It was quite tiring.

In the afternoon, we went down to Pasir Laba to execute an actual casevac drill. It was quite exciting. The feeling of sitting in the helicopter is something one has to get used to. Fortunately I felt all right.

All right, when’s the next round?

My sources tell me that we might have to do this again in September as part of a graded exercise. Yes, the dreaded ATEC (Army Training Evaluation Centre) assessment. We are having the first stage in two weeks time. Damn. We’ve been practicing the setup of the casualty station in the quickest time possible for the past week. I hope we can meet the target. And earn some off days in turn.

Although I am a specialist with the Brigade, I have to take part in this assessment of one of our battalions. These guys.. are not a bad bunch. Though they have some motivation issues, I think we can sort that out.

Last week I spent two days revising some basic first aid with the battalion’s troopers. Really, it takes a lot of effort to even gain their attention and respect, especially with the monointake guys. I take my hats off to their sergeants who can handle them. That’s another issue I have to take note of. I cannot afford to lose the respect of the people here. It will only make my job more difficult.

I was never good at practicals. Asking me to teach Continual Medical Education is the same as asking me to eat humble pie. Here, I feel like I’m over consuming it. Like today for instance, I absolutely murdered the correct ways of bandaging, causing everybody to snigger.

I hope the rehearsal goes well tomorrow. No more time for anymore screw ups.

Posting: Terror on Tracks!

On Monday I went back to SMTI to collect my posting order. Based on rumours in the previous few weeks, I was apparently supposed to become an instructor in SMTI. It was not to be. I was posted to HQ 4 SAB at Kranji Camp 2. On hearing the news, I was quite shocked with being sent to Armour. I didn’t even know where this camp was. Best of all there was no transport, and I had to take a cab there myself.

On arrival at the Medical Centre, I was greeted with by the medics with, ‘You have arrived at the wrong time! Good luck!’ My upper study was more than happy to see his replacement arrive. This week was spent get oriented to the camp and the various important personnel I will be working with.

My job involves taking orders from the MO and Senior Medics. I also supposed to maintain the medical centre’s infrastructure. Office supplies, air conditioning, even pest control. Then I have to take charge of the medics here. It will take some time to know the people here. My upper study tells me PR is very important for this job.

There are lots of events coming up soon. I hope I will react to them well. I cannot afford to mess things up. My life is really on the line now.

I don’t know, maybe I’m being stressed for nothing. One of the old birds told me, ‘Eh Sergeant you look very stressed! Relax man!’ How to relax? Got so many directives to study. I haven’t even finished revising my resuscitation procedures yet. Really, life at SMTI was too slack. I feel very unready for this job. Yet I have to project the image that I am always ready.

I’m bunking in with my upperstudy, his combat medic and a newly arrived service medic. The bunk was really filthy. I had to make do with the broom, dustpan, and lots of toilet paper to clean up the dust. Absolutely unbelievable. I could only use the magiclean magic wiper after retrieving my other stores on Thursday’s night’s out. This unit has night’s out on Tuesday and Thursday. I will be sure to make use of it liberally.

Oh yes, I’m typing this from camp computers. I’m confined here till next week. Unit directives say that all newbies are to be confined. Dumb! Well, see you next weekend. It’s time for me and my service medic to go to the cookhouse to consume the swill that has been prepared for us.


Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us

Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us

Our Lady of Mount Carmel, pray for us

Stella Matutina, ora pro nobis

Our Lady of Perpetual Succor, pray for us

St Michael the Archangel, pray for us

St Jude, pray for us

St Benedict, pray for us

St Dominic, pray for us

St Anthony, pray for us