U.S. Navy Medics Prepare For Combat By Treating Gunshot Victims In Chicago

The U.S. Navy is taking advantage of Chicago's sky-high murder rate by sending new medics to treat gunshot victims at Stroger hospital on the city's West Side as part of a pilot program which is currently in its third year. 

In 2017, 3,561 people were shot in Chicago; one every 2 hours and 27 minutes, while there were 679 total homicides - down from 2016's total of 808. Of the 679 homicides last year, 92.4% were from gunshots.

In fact, one-third of the 2016 spike in U.S. homicides came from just five Chicago neighborhoods

The steady flow of shooting victims (which social justice warriors seem to have overlooked for some reason) has proven extremely useful in training combat medics for the battlefield. 

The experience here can’t be replicated elsewhere, unless you have a major land invasion,” said Dr. Faran Bokhari, chair of Stroger's trauma & burn surgery unit.

The pilot program is set to be expanded under a Department of Defense effort to prioritize civilian and military partnerships. Newly enlisted combat medics rotate into hospital shifts, along with those who need a refresher while home from deployment. The hospital's 14-bed unit treats more than 6,000 trauma patient a year - with many of the victims suffering penetrating, life threatening wounds similar to those found on the battlefield. 

In many front-line Marine units, immediate medical care for gunshots, explosions or shrapnel comes from these corpsmen who mostly are young, new to the service and new to seeing up close the wounds they train to treat. The Navy medics, known as hospital corpsmen, typically receive 14 weeks of training in first aid and patient care in Fort Sam Houston in Texas after initial boot camp, and then have the option for additional training. -WSJ

[T]he first time a corpsman got any trauma experience was when they were deployed, and some would just freeze up,” said Navy Surgeon, Captain Paul Roach, who heads the program in the Great Lakes region. “We don’t want that to happen anymore.”

Corpsmen in the program learn skills such as how to scrub in before entering an operating theater, how to operate various machinery in the treatment of gunshot wounds, and how to assist doctors and surgeons with more advanced medical procedures during the trauma unit's 3 p.m. to 3 a.m. shift. 

“Corpsmen are not routinely exposed to trauma or critically injured patients during their first assignments,” said DoD spokeswoman Maj. Carla Gleason. The “realistic, hands-on trauma training will allow them to hone their skills and increase their readiness.

As the Wall Street Journal notes, Navy corpsmen often find themselves operating alone in combat zones. Operating in the hospital environment helps them learn protocol and procedures which they can replicate in the field. 

A lot of it is here’s your training, you learn, it gets drilled in into your head—then it’s just go,” said Andrew Swain, a 26-year old corpsman who has served as a medic in Iraq. During that deployment, in his first “mass-casualty incident,” he and just a handful of other medics had to treat about eight injured at the same time, all with traumatic injuries. -WSJ

Approximately 30% of patients admitted to Stroger have suffered gunshot wounds - compared to the national average of 4.2% for similar level 1 trauma centers. 

Corpsman Konrad Poplawski, whose first experience seeing anyone with a gunshot wound was during rotation in the training program at Stroger hospital, says that the program “has prepared me to deal with worse things out in the field,” he said. “I’ll be the only one out there, so I’ll have to learn from this.”

What the hell is going on?

Chicago - which has been run by Democrats for 64 of the last 68 years, has been in an economic death spiral for years. The Windy City run by Rahm Emanuel is currently drowning in debt and pension liabilities, along with an education system that's in shambles. 

In 2015, IBD noted "(Chicago's) financial woes have mounted despite Emanuel's efforts to rein them in. Years, perhaps even decades, of past financial sins all seem to be coming home to roost now. ... Moody's Investors Service estimated in a 2013 report that fixed costs, like pension contributions and debt service, could soon eat up more than half the city's operating budget, up from about 15 percent of the 2015 budget."

As President Trump asked last December, "what the hell is going on in Chicago?"

We can't possibly imagine - as Chicago has some of the toughest gun laws in the country.