May 11, 2017
Joining Forces

National Guard medics might seem out of place on a college campus, just as college athletic trainers may stick out on a military base. At the University of Wisconsin and nearby Fort McCoy, however, both have become familiar sights, as these two groups have spent the last year learning from each other on their respective home fields.

The idea for the partnership came in the summer of 2015. Wisconsin National Guard medics were encountering more soft-tissue injuries than usual in service men and women. But since they were accustomed to dealing with trauma on the battlefield, they weren’t always sure of the best ways to treat or prevent these sprains and strains.

Around the same time, Wisconsin National Guard medic Staff Sgt. Tim Ehlers was impressed by the way athletic trainers responded to injuries while watching a Badgers football game. Knowing how frequently athletic trainers deal with soft-tissue issues, Ehlers realized his fellow medics could learn a lot from them.

Even under stress

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