As medic Jessica Lake leaned towards her patient, she could hear the gunfire and the yelling of her fellow soldiers. In the darkness she could smell the smoke. Breathe, she told herself - breathe slowly.
"If you slow your breathing down, you can keep your head clear and you can keep your fingers working. As soon as your heart rate goes up, your fingers stop working and your head isn't so clear," she said on Sunday after participating in a battlefield simulation at the Charlottetown Armoury.
Pte. Lake of the P.E.I. Regiment was part of a group of reservists involved in two days of medic training this weekend.
To prepare for the simulation, reservists were trained in clinical skills such as intravenous therapy at Holland College on Saturday.
Lt.-Col. Keith Rudderham, commanding officer of the Canadian Armed Forces 33 Field Ambulance, said some of the reservists made mistakes under pressure that they normally wouldn't have made.
"We want it to be as realistic as possible," said Rudderham.
"We can't afford to make mistakes in the battlefield. We want to make as many mistakes as possible here in the simulation so we can improve upon them."
The 33 Field Ambulance, which is based in Halifax, joined the P.E.I. Regiment for the weekend training. Senior military leaders delivered the training along with faculty from Holland College's paramedicine program.
Rudderham said this is the third year the training has taken place on the Island. He said he was pleased with how the reservists performed under pressure.
"Little things were missed, but little things are always missed. But overall, the casualties they were able to rescue would have survived and they did a great job at performing care under very, very stressful conditions."
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