The role and responsibilities of a partisan medic

We’ve been having discussions about individual medical capabilities and the role of a partisan lifesaver. Where does the medic fit into all of this? What training should you try to get if that is the role you’ve been placed into?

Army Doctrine says the combat medic’s main job is to treat casualties and assist in the evacuation of casualties if required. The other responsibilities are to

  • Train members of the platoon to be combat lifesavers
  • Work with the Platoon Sergeant to formulate a medical plan for each mission
  • Stays connected with Medical Platoon leadership
  • Advised the Platoon Leader on any health issues within the platoon
  • Ensures platoon has the required medical supplies needed for every mission

Now how does this apply to a partisan environment? Well, it just takes a little molding for our purposes.

  • Treat sick and wounded members and interact with the guerilla hospital for higher-level care decisions
  • Train members of the group on basic skills and identify members for PLS training
  • Work with group leaders to develop a medical plan
  • Stay connected with guerilla hospital and any available higher medical care
  • Advise group leaders of any health issues within the group
  • Ensure the group has necessary medical supplies for not only daily life but potential combat operations

See how this is mostly the same just worded differently? Our end goals are the same whether you are a line medic or you’re a guerilla medic. The main thing that changes are our population size, and our common injuries. Military medics plan and train for combat-related injuries along with field injuries. In a partisan setting, we are going to have to handle A LOT more than just military-age males getting hurt either in combat, or preparing for it.

You are going to have to deal with children and all the injuries they sustain, elderly people, and people having more kids. Have you given any of this a thought? A guerilla hospital is more than just a backroom with a cot. I’ll definitely be talking more about this topic, but I figured it had to start somewhere.

If you’re coming into this being designated as your group medical person, what training do you have currently? I’ve been asked a few times what training someone should get if they are their group’s medic. If you are an EMT or Paramedic I really recommend attending a wilderness first responder course. It has a heavy focus on austere environments that I think apply perfectly to a partisan environment. A college-level anatomy and physiology class would also be extremely beneficial in helping to understand the human body.

Education is a never-ending pursuit and medical education is no different. There are plenty of good medical podcasts out there, plus different reference books. It would probably benefit you to volunteer at a local ems agency or with your local search and rescue. Both are great ways to keep your skills up.

The main role of a medic has always been and always will be to support combat arms. For a partisan environment, this is no different but we also have the added responsibility of group medical care for a patient subset that is VERY different from what a normal military medic sees.

Published by MechMedic

MechMedic is the owner of Stuck Pig Medical and medical instructor for Brushbeater Training and Consulting. After 5 years in the beloved Corps, Mech joined the National Guard where he became a medic. Lifelong survivalist, and overall outdoorsman. When not being a family man, he enjoys good bourbon and good cigars.

9 thoughts on “The role and responsibilities of a partisan medic

  1. Might I ask: do you think that taking a course of pharmacy technician training might be useful for someone wanting to be of assistance with medical needs in a SHTF situation?

      1. Thank you, sir! I’m thinking about taking such a pharmacy technician course, partly because I think it might complement my herbal medicine studies. Appreciate your input.

  2. Get enrolled in an EMT-B program, it can be completed in a few months in the evenings. You only need to pass the course if you want to test for a license, which I would recommend. The amount of hands on time is worth the class work, the book is easy to understand and you will learn a good deal of basic human physiology. If you acquire this license you can continue on to medic training. I have a Doctorate in pharmacy, so not waste your time or money with any sort of technician course.

    These courses have been pushed for a few years now and are really a waste of your time. You will learn some drugs, and what they are for, but you will not learn how to use them, interactions or any knowledge that you can use to treat or modify treatment- or how to modify a formulation or make a product-that is my job description, and I spent 250k and a lot of years on it. I could teach you technician skills in a few hours. Actual application or knowing basic signs/symptoms, and having enough hands on experience to help or start treatment on a patient is what you need. This then allows you the ability to join a fire department or expand your training that you can use or apply. Training is important but if you do not apply it, it is useless. You may be able to get a scholarship or a grant for the EMS stuff, do some digging- best of luck.

    1. This is the better answer for sure. Thank you for the info on the tech stuff. My drug knowledge is limited to what I’ve used as a medic. I figured it could help.
      The EMT is a great starting point for sure.

  3. I have spent more than three decades in the medical field. I have seen some other bloggers out there criticize you for not having a fully stocked hospital with a fully stocked pharmacy and disposable bandages. Those people don’t know what they are talking about. There are hospitals all over the world that make do with what they have. (For example: using old bed linens that have been sterilized by boiling them as wound dressings.) Some people out there are better at showing off and running their mouths than they are at actually accomplishing anything.

    You need far more than nurses and doctors to run any sort of guerilla medical system.

    Anyone who wants to help, there are all sorts of classes that can help. Start with a CPR and first aid course. Other classes that are valuable: chemistry and anatomy courses are valuable. Other than medical operations, there are a host of other jobs that need to be filled to make this work.
    Whatever you know, you know. The one random fact that you know might make the difference.

    1. Careful now, you don’t want nurse rachett to come along and hit you with his purse!

      You are,of course, absolutely correct. Regardless of the ability to transfer to higher care, it will be necessary to treat all patients as best as possible. This is crucial for morale. Yes, a fully stocked level 1 trauma center would be awesome, but it’s not realistic; however, there are a couple stops between that and “you’re on your own kids”.

  4. So this article is what nurse rachett is in a never ending menstrual cycle about. We need to get along, which is never going to happen until most are smacked between the eyes with the initial die off. Great advice on the EMT classes.

  5. I’ve never taken an EMT course, but I did work as a Pharmacy Tech for a year and half before going to med school. All knowledge is useful, but the EMT route is probably the better use of time for most people.

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