At just 22, Senior Airman Barry is deploying as an Air Force Pararescueman (PJ) in one of the busiest and most dangerous regions of Afghanistan. After saying goodbye to his parents and flying into Kandahar Airfield, he’s ready for the challenge. But a slew of fast-paced and tough missions test Barry’s skills and ability to cope with the brutal realities of war. Luckily, he has experience at his side, Staff Sergeants Matt and Trevor, who help their new brother rise to the trials of his first deployment.

Barry, Matt, and Trevor are part of a 13-man team whose job is to save the lives and rescue American and Allied forces in peril. Their assignment takes them from their families in the southern U.S. to the front lines of the war that rival’s the Vietnam War as the longest in U.S. history. Once there, Barry teams with Matt and Trevor, two of the unit’s more experienced PJs, with three deployments each under their belts. They start off the tour with Barry’s first ever mission: an Afghan National Army soldier critically injured with gunshot wounds to the leg and chest.

Matt leaves home at one of the biggest moments of his life, as his wife is expecting their first child. While family comes first for Matt, he knows what this job entails, and is more than willing to sacrifice himself to save another.

While the others enjoy a break after the first rescue, Matt anxiously awaits news from his wife in the States. She is about to find out the sex of the baby when Matt is called out to rescue an Afghan soldier hit by an IED blast. The helicopter lands and the team swiftly takes on the casualty. The clock is ticking as the “golden hour,” the window to save a critically wounded soldiers, is growing close. Matt is ready for his team to be airborne when members of the injured Afghan’s team try to board the chopper. Strictly forbidden to take on anyone except the injured, the PJs have to push the Afghans back, even if they are allies. With insider attacks when Afghan soldiers turn their guns on American and NATO forces, sharply increasing in the last year, the unit must be very careful to keep all unnecessary people off and away from the helicopter.

Back at base, Matt finally has a chance to talk to his wife to find out the sex of their baby. But the celebratory mood quickly fades when a third rescue call comes in — two American servicemen in an IED blast, one of which is an amputee in critical condition. The rescue team is without Trevor, who is reassigned to the a.m. shift, leaving only Barry and Matt to rescue the Americans. This is the team’s biggest test of the deployment.

Tune in to Inside Combat Rescue: Whatever it Takes tonight at 10P.

Comments

  1. Ralph
    New York
    February 25, 2013, 10:39 pm

    First I will commend you all and thank you for your service. Next I have not served in the PJ’s. I do fly civiliian EMS helicopter and have for the last 22 + years. Just have to comment on th medical care- never O2 on the patient, Never tackling airway and some very amature attempts at basic skills Decompression, IV;s, Immobilization etc. Look Ill admit Im not worried about getting shot at BUT these guys are medical professionals and I would have expected more. Its not a taxi cab its a medevac

    Ralph

  2. kevin thomas
    United States
    February 25, 2013, 11:56 pm

    what does the the alarm say? when you go on a mission

  3. Rapier
    FL
    February 26, 2013, 9:45 am

    Interesting series filming on base and in the chopper with a mix of young first time out guys. You do not get to see many programs with that kind of access. I just wish the young guys had not been filmed uncovered.

  4. GeoTracker
    February 26, 2013, 2:23 pm

    @Kevin Thomas

    The alarm says, “Leeeroy Jenkins!”

    It’s from this:

  5. Casem
    United States
    February 26, 2013, 3:15 pm

    @Ralph Try doing your job in 40 lbs of gear with work gloves on and on 3.5 hours of sleep for 6 months straight while worrying about your helo being blown out of the sky.

  6. mike
    February 26, 2013, 7:07 pm

    Ralph, you obviously know nothing about combat medics. a lot of basic medic work is done on the patient by medics on the ground. I always get a kick out of you non military types that are so critical, you would probably melt under the pressure these guys are under day in and day out, makes me sick.

  7. Ania
    Texas
    February 26, 2013, 8:36 pm

    I have someone very special to my heart that is in training to be a PJ and i just need come answers and hope. HELP!!!!

  8. John dough
    February 26, 2013, 9:06 pm

    Look dude, to be real, most of these are 7 min flights at best. Usually the only interventions one can get through are BLS at best. That being said, when I’m flying, dudes get the works. K, IO, blood, TXA, O2, airway if needed, and a saved by Pedro coin in in their shredded uniform. Nat-geo just wasn’t there for those missions. But I hear you, better care could be rendered in some situations.

  9. anthony curtis white
    usa
    February 26, 2013, 9:33 pm

    Ralph my son was in Pedro 66 when it was shot down and i find you comments extremely repulsive.

  10. lindsey
    ohio
    February 27, 2013, 6:01 am

    New favorite show!! These guys are absolutely the bravest of the brave. Their dedication and heroic acts cannot be commended enough. And can we say HOT!?! Geez Barry, i am not a fan of love at first sight, but..umm..i think i love u Barry!

  11. Brent
    arizona
    February 27, 2013, 7:04 am

    I love this show. I spent 5 yrs in the military and have great respect for my brothers serving before, during & after me but theres sonmething about this series that really touches me. Maybe its my nephew in Marine basic right now. With all do respect, after watching this episode I saw where the two American soldiers who were wounded the one an amputee lived for only 14 days then passed. I’m only wandering why after his vitals were stabilized and obviously 14 days he had to have made it thru surgery successful? Thanks so much.

  12. D.O.A.
    No. Cal.
    February 27, 2013, 12:43 pm

    @ ralph, different arena than flying accident victims from I-5 to County General.

  13. JTH
    California
    February 27, 2013, 4:59 pm

    Great job NatGeo! I am sorry Ralph and mean no disrespect but, civilian EMS providers have not earned the right to criticize any PJ. As a previous instructor, I was actually proud of Barry’s technical skills on his very FIRST live mission. Yes, some fumbling but Ralph, have we all not been there? Until you look into the eyes of a dying soldier or hold him in your arms, do not comment. Especially while risking your own life “So Others May Live.” Continue on Pedro!!!

  14. Army Vet
    Minnesota
    February 27, 2013, 6:17 pm

    I unfortunately have not been able to watch any of the episodes just yet. However, I do have them taped and ready to go. When I saw the very first trailer, my eyes teared up and I got massive chills. These men really do put EVERYTHING on the line. I thank every person that serves/served in any branch of the U.S. Military. Here’s to all the families and friends that stand behind and support all military personnel!!!! Just have one question though… Does anyone know who sings the song that plays with all the trailers? And what the title is? I really would like to download it so I can always remember “Inside Combat Rescue” and all the men that were a part of it. THANKS AGAIN!!!!!!

  15. Mary
    Orlando, FL
    February 27, 2013, 8:55 pm

    1st…..great show! We all need a reminder that while life goes on over here, there are warriors fighting a horrific battle so far away. 2nd….as a parent it breaks my heart that we are sending these fine young men and women to fight a war that will forever change them and who they are. As an American I am filled with so much pride because these soldiers are so courageous and fearless in the face of battle. 3rd and last….I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your courageous and selfless service to our country. I pray that you come home safely and live a happy, healthy and productive life. You have truly earned it !!!

  16. Megan
    Boston
    February 27, 2013, 9:52 pm

    @Ralph – you should be embarrassed.

    Each one of these men deserve the highest regard. I am grateful for their service. Cheers to these men and NatGeo!

  17. Airborne all the way
    california
    February 28, 2013, 12:41 am

    I absolutely love this show. Was a combat medic myself and most have no idea of the complexities involved in what the PJ’s do…. Now I’m a civilian gun slinger and I’ve never been more proud than the time I spent in the military. Thx to the network for putting a show on like this. Its aww inspiring. Thx fellas that participated on the show. We do care and we don’t forget. The bonds on being part of the military family never ends.

  18. nina
    rogers Arkansas
    February 28, 2013, 4:00 am

    You are all so very brave. I am proud of our military. I have the utmost respect for all of you. Thank you for your service

  19. Kathy Williams
    South Carolina
    February 28, 2013, 9:11 am

    I Love this show. My son had just left Afghaistan when this was filmed and he works with the PJ’s on the helicopters. It gives me a greater idea of what he went through and how serious their jobs are while over there. Thank you Nat Geo for doing this!

  20. Hawk
    United States
    February 28, 2013, 10:50 am

    @Army Vet

    The song is Radioactive by Imagine Dragons.

    To the PJ’s, keep doing what ya doing, your doing great things!!! We appreciate you!!!

  21. Lisa
    United States
    February 28, 2013, 1:44 pm

    OMG, just finished watching the first episode of Inside Combat Rescue, this is a show that every American adult should watch. It is disturbing and heartbreaking; but it gives you a fuller understanding of what our men in women in combat are going through, and understanding as to why they come home so different from the person they were when they left. If this show doesn’t make you want to hug a returning service member and truly thank them for their service then you are one cold hearted S.O.B.

  22. HardcoreOutdoor
    Scottsdale, USA
    February 28, 2013, 5:51 pm

    Huge respect and admiration for CSAR in general but especially for Pararescue. Just wish the producers weren’t so squishy about showing the wounds. It is war, this is Nat Geo, you post plenty of warnings, and the show is about combat search and rescue. Please stop blurring the more graphic scenes. It ruins the shot and the story.

    Also, more action, preparation time, gear shots and less personal human interest stuff. We all have families we all suffer a little on the bad calls but stop trying to make these warriors contestants on next season of THE BACHELORETTE.

    …THIS WE DO THAT OTHERS MAY LIVE

  23. JTH
    California
    February 28, 2013, 9:19 pm

    @anthony curtis white. Sir, it is with the utmost respect and admiration for your son that I apologize for any American who just can’t understand what your son Ben did for all of us and what you must still be going through. The loss of Pedro 66 still echoes through the Rescue community as more than a tragic loss. I can only pass on the stories of these brave airmen to my son and can assure you the name of Ben White will NEVER be forgotten.

  24. Christy
    Washington
    February 28, 2013, 10:21 pm

    I absolutely LOVE this show. I am so proud of these brave servicemembers who put their lives on the line every mission, to save a life. I am proud to be a Air Force vet. I never really knew much about the PJ’s while I served, but I know a lot now thanks to the show. They make the job I had in the service look like a piece of cake. I applaud each and every member, not only of the PJ’s, but to all the brave men and women who are fighting still to this day for freedom. God Bless them all and keep them all safe.

  25. JSO
    Nebraska
    March 1, 2013, 1:24 am

    I am a single mom and nurse and I cannot imagine what our service personnel go through, but to all of our service men and women who have put their lives on the line for me and my children and grandchildren, I thank you with all my heart and keep you in my prayers at all times. God be with you at all times and thank you for your service. God bless you and keep you in is eyes and out of harms way.

  26. ruth
    Massachusetts
    March 2, 2013, 2:35 pm

    I find this series is fabulous and makes me so proud of our service men. I can’t stop watching!

  27. rob
    florida
    March 2, 2013, 9:07 pm

    i really love the show its so captivating.I have never been in the military due to injuries from a car accident but watching the guys on the show inspires me to try harder and appreciate my life and freedom as well as my young children.I will keep you guys in my praryers and thoughts and will always have the utmost respect for all of our service men and women.I do want to say when i hear stories about our troops not geting the help they need wether injuried or just trying to readjust to civilian life it makes me so angry you all deserve so much better keep up the good work and god bless you all

  28. bfb
    south carolina
    March 3, 2013, 6:58 pm

    if you like these guys maybe next time Nat Geo will do the Green Hornets. 20th SOS.

  29. Mike
    Hawaii
    March 3, 2013, 9:50 pm

    Awesome downwind landings with an A/C operating close to Max Gross Weight. You guys are really a bunch of cowboys and this show actually sheds alot of light on why you guys ball up so many A/C. I feel bad for the guys in back who are ignorant to the fact on how close you are to really screwing up.

  30. Jean mom of a pj
    CA
    March 4, 2013, 1:40 am

    Son was a Pj. You all should also watch “Making the cut” these airmen go through 2 years of intensive training to be called a PJ. Just to get into the pipeline is a tough job and very few make it. I am proud of all PJ’s for their dedication and committment.

  31. Terry Grant
    March 4, 2013, 7:47 pm

    @Ralph, that is what you have to say after watching this show. Also, please do not compare what you do to these brave young men. They are the elite of the elite, the attrition rate for completing the 24+ months of training, or as it is referred to “Superman School” is above 90%. Compare that to 70% for Navy Seal training. Before anyone jumps the gun about who is tougher/better I am only referring to the difficulty of completing the training. I remember reading an article in Airman Magazine during the the Bosnian War. A US pilot had been shot down and a rescue mission was planned. As the the helicopters with PJ’s on board were in route over hostile territory to rescue the downed airman they began taking heavy anti aircraft and small arms fire. The pilots were told by their mission controllers that the AAA resistance would only get worse as they neared the downed pilot’s location. The mission controllers had decided to abort the mission based on the information they had, but gave the option for the crews to continue if they felt they could. The pilot of the rescue helicopter explained the situation to the PJs in the back. The pilot stated that the response from the back was immediate and unanimous “THAT OTHERS MAY LIVE”. Enough said

  32. anthony curtis white
    Erwin tn
    March 4, 2013, 9:49 pm

    As to the attrition rate of dropping out of PJ training, You don’t get through if your not willing to “lay it all on the line” That Others May Live. They all have one mind and it is to save those who are wounded regardless of what they may endure. Hats off to the 38 RQS, And to the 48RQS, No greater love than this are those who have laid down their lives for their friends. RIP my brave son.

  33. SSG SKYGOD
    MI
    March 5, 2013, 4:50 pm

    I was a civilian paramedic for 10 years, to include national registry, and I also find some of their skills lacking…but then it is easy to armchair quarterback on Tuesday mornings…so I am not gonna judge…and neither should anyone else…I also spent 18 years as an Infantryman in the US Army with 7 of them on AIRBORNE status to include LRS in the 82nd…besides doing two back to back Iraq tours in the bad old days…These young men deserve our respect and admiration for not only having passed “SUPERMAN SCHOOL” and the pipeline, but for deploying to Afghanistan…so that others may live…HOOAH!!!…

  34. Mark
    United States
    March 5, 2013, 6:06 pm

    I was in the neighborhood with Army Medivac 2011- 2012. I want to know the timeframe this was recorded. I think the N Geo did a decent job. “Heaven Can Wait”

  35. mark graham
    United States
    March 6, 2013, 12:55 pm

    I have the ut-most respect and admiration for you all. Thank you for you service .

  36. Zuko
    March 6, 2013, 3:58 pm

    @Ralph.. I don’t know if your up on your Continuing Education, but they changed the ABC’s to CAB about 2 years ago. These brave warriors deserve our utmost gratitude and respect. I’m sure they have a QA/QI system in place, so let them deal with the perceived medical errors. Not to mention it’s been edited you TOOL! Thanks to all the 1T2X1, 68W, and HM-8404′s out there!!!

    Regards,
    a humble CFRN

  37. John
    March 6, 2013, 8:58 pm

    Ralph, I am not a PJ. I’m an Independent Duty Corpsman in the Navy but I’ve never been on a boat. I’ll let you do the math on that one. You have no clue what combat trauma medicine is or the protocols that we follow. First is hemorrhage control. Second is airway. If the patient is talking, they have an airway….. depending on their sats we may forego 02. And depending on what the extent of the other wounds we may not have time to screw with 02. 96% of all battlefield deaths that occur are due to blood loss. So here’s my advice to you…shut your mouth. I guarantee you the knowledge and skill base of any PJ is superior to yours. I’m an IDC…….PJ’s are as legit as medics get.
    -NSW8425

  38. John
    March 6, 2013, 9:01 pm

    And to the rest of you….. EAD. “their skills are lacking”….I’ve got one question for all of you…..every been in a gunfight?

  39. Nick Woj
    cleveland
    March 7, 2013, 1:40 am

    Leeeeeroyyy Jenkinnnns!!! This is one of the Top military shows I like other than Bomb Patrol. I give mad props to All of you! Keep it up guys and be careful out there heading out into combat So That Others May Live !!!!

  40. Dick
    603
    March 7, 2013, 7:37 pm

    Much respect to all servicemen & women. Really digging the mustaches on the choppers and the swallows on one of the pilot’s helmets.

  41. Just another PJ
    March 9, 2013, 5:39 pm

    Ralph, maybe it is easy for you to arm-chair quarterback our young guys from your couch at night. Its obvious you have no idea what its like so here are some things to consider:
    1. O2- I don’t always have it, do you know what happens when a bullet hits a compressed oxygen tank in the back of a helo? When I do have O2, its liquidox and it is getting saved for the young american soldier who is clinging to life and actually needs it.
    2. Tackling the airway. I am assuming you mean an advanced airway and posative ventilations? When you provide posative ventilations on a trauma pt, you knock out his respiratory drive. Not something I want to do in a multi-system trauma patient who is still maintaining his own airway. Also consider that many of these aren’t normal people, these are hardened special operators who will require sedation to let me tube him. Read up on this some more, its not a good idea in many cases.
    I’ll ignore youre IV comment since I saw blood being given to almost every pt. The Pt that had it fall out, it happened on the ground and obviously wasn’t secured for the PJ team.
    3. Immobilization- Read up on what happens when you put a C-collar on a guy who will be moved a lot without a full spine board (we don’t have full spine boards). You cause more damage than good. Also, immobilization isn’t necessary on penetrating trauma (GSWs and Shrapnel)
    4. Maybe the new guy didn’t get the first decompression, but he got the second one and fixed the problem. He learned from it without causing damage to his PT. Maybe youve never made a mistake when you were new?

    After every event, we spend hours beating ourselves up about what we should have done better and what would have been better for our guy. (And many times this is ignoring the fact that we rushed and inserted into a mine field or enemy area to get him out so he’d survive and go home alive) As much as I’d love for you to sit in on our debriefs and tell us how much we suck at your style of medicine, I think we’ve got it covered without Ralph.
    Next time you want to armchair quarterback, do yourself a favor: instead of talking down to us, take a quick look at some statistics. Specifically the ratio of multi system trauma patients in a pre-hospital setting that survive in our arena compared to yours.
    Thank you Ralph, and have a wonderful day
    Love,
    Your Favorite PJ
    (Don’t forget your homework)

  42. Mike
    Richmond, Va
    March 9, 2013, 11:59 pm

    I cannot fathom the pressure these angels go through on a daily basis. Saying Thank You doesn’t seem to be adequate, yet it is the best I can offer. May God bless these and all service men and women!

  43. Gary
    Odessa, Tx
    March 10, 2013, 4:50 pm

    I served with 39th ARRSq in 1967 at Tuy Hoa ab, RVN. I was wondering which unit the show is about? Be safe and God bless all of members of CSAR units.

  44. EA
    OKC USA
    March 11, 2013, 6:03 pm

    Love the show God Bless our Armed Forces and God bless America! And as for Ralph the Mouth you said it yourself your a CIVILIAN you never can and never will understand what it’s like to be in combat so don’t criticize the men and women of this great nation for doing a job you will never understand it should have been enough to commend and thank them for the job they are out there in foreign hostile soil doing so that you can have your job as a CIVILIAN EMS pilot you should be ashamed that you had anything negative to say about anyone that is willing to give their life for your freedom I have one question that’s the same as a previous comment on here have you ever been shot at? And my last question is have you ever had 6 people on your CIVILIAN aircraft that are critically wounded? Next time please do everyone a favor and keep your ignorant simpleminded opinions to yourself!!!!!

  45. Ed
    Wisconsin
    March 11, 2013, 9:35 pm

    I was in the 38th ARRS – Pedro – Detachments in VietNam in 1969. Different planes, different war- same deal! I was not a PJ – I was a flight mechanic. I worked with and lived with real heroes! It was a special time in my life that gave it meaning.

    I bunked with the greatest PJ that ever lived- Duane Hackney. Thanks for this great show! PJ’s rule! God bless them all!!

  46. MAJ/RN
    MS
    March 11, 2013, 9:36 pm

    The day I walked into a soldier’s room at Walter Reed ICU who needed another IV placed, it hit home what these Medics really manage:::::BLOOD LOSS!!! The patient in the room was a quadruple amputee. I still wonder how he ever made it off the battle field. These are the skills that you hope the paramedics at home have.

  47. Andy Staley
    Pa
    March 11, 2013, 11:33 pm

    Give these boys credit. Tough dangerous job. Great job they do. Nobody has anyplace to criticize any of these guys. Nor anyone who has served. Just look at them. Say Thanks. Go about your day. Don’t say you understand or you can imagine cuz you don’t and you can’t. Carry on boys. Keep saving lives. Someplace somewhere a family has their son, father, or brother back. Thank you!!!

  48. TheCaptainrrr
    Cali
    March 12, 2013, 10:10 pm

    Just watched episode four….damn these guys are good! Great to be an American! Appreciate all of our armed forces! Keep up the good work gents…keep doing what you do “so that others may live” God bless them all! God bless all of our armed forces! Come home safe!

  49. Scout
    MI
    March 13, 2013, 12:24 am

    I forget which episode it is, but at the end, one of the PJ’s is writing a letter. It starts off: “It feels good to be back here in country, it may seem strange to some but there’s nowhere else I’d rather be…”. It goes on and I can’t recall the rest, but I know I’ve heard that somewhere else. A movie, book, I don’t know, and it’s starting to irritate me that I can’t think of it. Anyone have any idea?

  50. C-17LM
    Fla
    March 13, 2013, 4:28 pm

    I flew 17 years as an USAF Aircrew member . I flew a couple missions with PJs and I have to say it was a humbling experience. They got through 2 years of training and a tech school with around a 90% washout rate and on average there are about 300 of these guys worldwide at any given time makes them very special. We all had out jobs and these guys always were humble about anything. But ask any SF operators and they’ll tell you who they respect. A lot of SEAL and DELTA (formally DELTA) teams have an embedded PJ with them. Do the research on these guys and you might have a change of heart. I’m sure if most of your jobs were documented someone could criticize something you did but every military team member who is being picked up by the PEDROs feel extreme relief it them making the call. Go read None Braver..some of their techniques impressed ER physicians. “These things we do, that others may live” These guys live it.

  51. Carolyn
    NJ
    March 13, 2013, 5:45 pm

    Thank you, NatGeo.
    God bless our troops!

  52. Nathan Burt
    Colorado
    March 14, 2013, 12:13 am

    Former Army MEDEVAC Operations Coordinator here.

    Before I begin please know that my critique of the PJ’s (Air Force MEDEVAC), is all in good fun, being a friendly rival so to speak, and I’m in no way trying to take anything away from the PJ’s or what they do.

    These guys are a very well trained group of individuals and have a great skill set and these dudes are ridiculous when it comes to the mission of Air Ambulance Evacuation. They’ve done some maneuvers that seem only possible in fables or exaggerated war stories, but they’re not exaggerated. They really do some of the crazy shit they’re known for.

    The mathematics involved with power to weight ratio while factoring in altitude and temperature in Afghanistan are essential to how Helicopters work over there. Basically the PJ’s are flying around in the HH-60G models which are like a cinder blocks compared to the army UH-60A models which are like feathers. Just to give you an idea of what the hell I’m talking about: A fully stripped down BlackHawk (UH-60A) with only the bare essentials, (Communications equipment, Advanced Field Medical Equipment, and 4-5 personnel w/ gear) is one of the most versatile Helicopters in service, and it STILL has trouble maintaining lift in the mountains of Afghanistan due to the high altitudes they’re flying at. The HH-60G has SO much crap attached to it they sometimes are unable to complete missions due to their power restrictions at those high altitudes! (Even with all that crap detached, they’re engines still can’t shimmy up the power to complete those high altitude missions… Just to squash that argument)

    Unlike the Army’s MEDEVAC’s crew of 4-5 personnel the PJ’s have Upwards of 4 to 8 personnel on each mission, PLUS two M2 HMG’s w/ ammo and enough useless gear to ensure that they can usually only get two, MAYBE three patients on board during a given medical evacuation mission.
    SO this means they’re underpowered (helicopter wise), overstaffed (too many personnel on-board), and quite frankly they’re not used for the right reasons 90% of the time.

    These guys are supposed to be used when they need a mobile team of Flight Paramedics that don’t fall under Geneva Convention so they can conduct more off the beaten path missions (Or basically SF support). They’ve been using them for every day MEDEVAC coverage which in my opinion defeats the purpose of their skill set.

    In my opinion, (and please don’t crucify me for this) the only reason these guys exist is so AFSOF can have a say when it comes to MEDEVAC coverage. Seriously, instead of using our defense budget for semi-decent ERQS Flight Paramedics and underpowered aircraft, Just stand up a 160th SOAR MEDEVAC Company and right there you’ve got better resources that can better uphold and support an SF operation. No need to call the Air Force for subpar performance, cause let’s be honest who’s gonna be a better asset? A standalone Air Force MEDEVAC equivalent to the superior Army MEDEVAC, OOOOR a bonafide Special Forces 160th SOAR MEDEVAC Company that trains in and around the SF constantly?

    I’m just calling it like I saw it….

    Again, all in good fun.

  53. TheGavfather
    WA
    March 14, 2013, 2:51 am

    Man, I was hooked on that show when I reconginzed the traffic circle down ring road from the air. Outstanding show. We had these guys come help us out a couple times, much appreciated, I ever run into a PJ, first round is on me.

    @Just another PJ, great post, well said.

  54. Momof3
    Boston, ma
    March 14, 2013, 10:32 pm

    Great show. A thank you to our Armed Forces, god bless.

  55. Jason B.
    Nashville, TN
    March 15, 2013, 5:17 pm

    Look, I was a personal protective specialist (body guard) in Iraq for three tours. I am also a trained paramedic. Care for a patient in a war zone is MUCH different than care in the comfy world. First of all, no medic in the states is going to walk into an active shooting incident to treat, much less evacuate the wounded. The average flight from take off to landing is 8 minutes. That isn’t much time to get much done. Stop the bleeding, get them some air and prevent further damage. That’s all they can do. even though I was a sailor, I would take my chances with a PJ before I would in the back of a local ambulance service.

  56. Lew
    March 18, 2013, 12:06 am

    This show is the best ever. I’m a firefighter/EMT and I agree with the flight time all you can do is bls skills. Pack and go. If you have the bleeding stopped at the time and the vitals are good why give an IV all your gonna do is cause the bleeding to start again. So Ralph keep flying and leave the medical shit to the guys who do it.

  57. Marty
    Texas - F2 Critical Flight Paramedic US ARMY DUSTOFF
    March 18, 2013, 9:52 pm

    Nathan, Damn straight… you got it on lock. I’ve watched this show for the 1st time & I have to say I’m a little disgusted with it all. It’s a bunch of hype to show why the “PJ’s” are part of the mission. They’re important too, but I agree with the level of care given(sub par)… the episode I watched they held on location for over 40 mins, let people approach the aircraft and didn’t search anything on the package the Afghan troops brought them unescorted by the US troops on ground… lack of ground control on our guys too(Army)… I know others that haven’t ever been in situations like this wouldn’t understand & can talk trash… but I’ve been on ground & conducting mission like this & now have been in DUSTOFF for sometime…. I see & think 2nd & 3rd order effects… the overall reality is these guys were ill prepared and didn’t do the basics… Tourniquet… control all life threats Period… if you got that many guys assign tasks, if they’re screaming you’ve got an airway… simple… If your weapon isn’t working on a mission like that or you failed to weapons check… then you found the new weapons cleaner, also you should hope for the best plaln for the worst…. you fail that epic you shouldn’t be on the aircraft.
    combat is different & for what it seems a very green crew in the back… train more & plug in a few combat vets with the new guys… don’t let them get on TV & show this type of crap… it makes all of us look bad.
    Work Hard STAY HUMBLE…
    D.U.S.T.O.F.F.

  58. Heed
    OH
    March 19, 2013, 1:44 am

    @Nathan Burt
    I’ll keep this short and sweet. You say PJ’s are a “AF Medevac equivalent to the superior Army Medevac blah blah.” And something else about bonafide SF like 160th SOAR. Yeah I know who they are. Yet it seems with your friendly sister-service rivalry, you forget that PJ’s ARE in fact bonafide SF operators. Either that or you just don’t know a thing about PJ’s in the first place. I agree, in the manner the show presents them as being used, their skill set isn’t being fully utilized, in that they are trained to go waaaaay further than the series shows them going. These guys get the call to save SEALs. None of that shouldn’t really matter. They are getting the job done and are the first step on getting our guys home in their hour of need.

  59. Mii
    finnland
    March 19, 2013, 2:46 am

    Interesting discussion. Almost seems like no “criticims” isnt allowed just because these are “the heroes”. We all should remember that without constructive criticism there is no learning.

  60. Allgeeteredup
    Tulsa, OK
    March 19, 2013, 6:55 am

    LOVE, LOVE, LOVE THE SHOW!!!!!!

    I am moved and proud each and every time I watch the show. I thank GOD each and every time I watch the show knowing that there are men and women out there who love their country as much as they do. As a mother, I watch with anxiety for those injured and those who care for them, I watch as an ex-military person, with respect and admiration for the men and women who risk their lives so others may continue theirs, and finally I watch as an American with pride and gratitude for the selflessness that is shown by the PJs as they complete each mission knowing in their hearts that there is someone just like me at home hoping and praying that their loved one will return home. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for what you do and who you are. This show, in my opinion, for the first time actually shows what war can be and what pride and honor truly are! You really are the best of the best!!!!!!

  61. Jay
    Az
    March 19, 2013, 9:42 am

    Great show – Makes me so proud – I have read all the comments and all I can say is “Thank you” to all that serve and have served. To know that these brave men and women are willing and I say “Willing” to serve our country and lay down their life is the highest honor. I just wish they all come home soon to their families and until that day, stay safe.

  62. NamPJ
    Ohio
    March 19, 2013, 6:41 pm

    As a Nam PJ, my opinion is that this is pretty well done. First, its the first missions for some of these guys and I was pretty impressed with what they were doing in the confines they were working. Anyone that has been on a Pavelow knows how crampt it is. Secondly, I flew missions into North .Vietnam picking up downed airman and bringing them back. These werent 8 minute flights. They were long, and most of the time a real fight keeping the rescued alive. What I feel is not quite fair here is that these PJ’s are capable of much more than you are witnessing. Everyone of them graduated Jump School, Halo School, Combat Divers School,3 to4 different survival schools including artic, desert, water, and jungle school, advanced Medical School, (beyond EMT) , weapons training, Army Ranger School, you get my point. The show depicts a small part of what PJ’s do. Check out Special Tactics, if you have interest in what else they do. And as a PJ, I would take any one of them to cover my 6. In Nam, I volunteered to fly with the 93rd Army Med Evac on my off days as the Army was hammered and needed help. I can assure you that most PJ’s have seen more than their share of what goes on in combat! I have tremendous respect for the Army Med Evac people as well as the Navy Corpsman, and any others that puts their ass on the line. And yes, I served with Dwayne Hackeny also at Da-Nang on Jolly Greens. I give the new PJ’s a lot of credit for their skills while being photographed and under the not so perfect conditions. I also give National Geographic one hell of a lot of credit for doing a great job of bringing a small window to the publics eye. Hoo-Yah!

  63. BILLY C.
    KY.
    March 19, 2013, 6:43 pm

    WHEN IT COMES TO OUR MEDICAL PERSONNEL IN THE SERVICE THEY DON’T COME ANY BETTER. DOESN’T MATTER IF YOU’RE A CORPMAN, PJ OR COMBAT MEDIC THESE PEOPLE HAVE BEEN TRAINED TO THE HIGHEST LEVEL. THEY ARE THE BEST OF THE BEST. I’M A RETIRED LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER AND WILDLAND FIREFIGHTER. BEFORE THAT I WAS AN EMT FOR 17YRS. THERE IS NO COMPARISON TO CIVILIAN EMS, TWO TOTALLY DIFFERENT WORLDS. WE DON’T HAVE ROOM FOR ARMCHAIR COMMANDO’S, WE NEED TO SUPPORT THEM IN EVERY WAY. JUST REMEMBER AMERICA THEY WEREN’T TOLD TO DO THIS JOB, THEY VOLUNTEERED FOR IT, THAT’S WHY THEY ARE THE BEST OF THE BEST. GOD BLESS AND HELP OUR COUNTRY AND GOD BLESS OUR SERVICE MEN AND WOMEN.

  64. sarah
    Texas, USA
    March 19, 2013, 6:49 pm

    LOVE THIS SHOW!!!! and I mean LOVE!!! So cool, so well done, good job NatGeo!!!!

  65. Steve
    March 20, 2013, 12:13 am

    @Ralph,

    Rather than call these HERO”S out on things why can’t you just say thank you for their service and be respectful. I know people that have gone through the mental and physical challenge to become a PJ. Granted you have been in the medical field as long as you have. You have never nor will you know what its like for them treating a brother in arms. These are the people that give you the right to speak your freedom!!

  66. AuntEsther
    Parts Unknown
    March 20, 2013, 12:17 pm

    Ralph, I’m with YOU brother. I’d tell them to call off the choppers and take my chances with the local voodoo doctor! On a couple of the guys I saw, they were doing more harm than good.

  67. Alvaro
    Miami, FL
    March 20, 2013, 2:34 pm

    LEEEEROY JENKINS

  68. Alvaro
    Miami Fl
    March 20, 2013, 2:36 pm

    Yeah the medical care they give miiiiight not be top notch but I don’t blame them, I’d probably do just as bad or worse. The best one i saw was the cric patient. They got it in, it was messy but the job was done. It does seem like they hang IV, blood and go. Very little O2 treatment though right? And what’s up with transporting 5 people at a time? I’d carry two CAT ALPHAS at most. Otherwise everybody else is getting shit treatment and you have no space to work on your critically injured, but hen again, Air Force knows best how to deal with this.

  69. Butch
    Kentucky
    March 20, 2013, 3:27 pm

    I’m Former Air Force…never in harms way. But if I was; I’d want these heroes to attend me if necessary. These guys make me damn proud of the Air Force. Right now this is the only show I record and watch. God Bless you all!

  70. Brock Howland
    michigan
    March 20, 2013, 6:41 pm

    I was thrown back by this show. I was medevaced by these guys on May 20 after and IED flipped. my truck. I also got the chance as a combat medic on ground to hand off a few of my casualties to Pedro throughout my deployment. This show covered my base being over ran. The next episode they picked up a boy who had been shot in the head by Taliban. I’m fairly certain this is the same child that was dropped off to me by the ANA. I had originally thought this boy was not going to make it but found out in this show that he did. Can anyone tell me where this child was picked up from so that I confirm one way or the other if in fact this is the same boy?

  71. Matthew Scott
    rochester new york
    March 21, 2013, 3:31 pm

    The show is great ! First an foremost. They all do a fantastic job and with no doubt are brave ! Most people will never see what goes on in a different country during war time activities. Please come home safe. Thank you for being what you are

  72. EOD
    Poland
    March 22, 2013, 8:18 pm

    I like it, after i was injured in ied explosion in afghanistan and was send to Poland before end of my XI shift

  73. Sgt Joe
    Florida Eglin AFB
    March 23, 2013, 3:15 pm

    Ralph so you know, the helicopters we fly aren’t as stable as civilian , a civilan chopper isn’t rolling and pitching while your starting an IV! They are starting IV on someone who has been shot or lost limb so bowns are deflated. The Airway sweeps and imobilization checks take place on the ground, by that medic so they know OK he is safe to fly at high speeds. They do everything by the book to the best of ability. The pilot has to go around hot areas and they don’t always know when that will be. You don’t put neck braces on because frankly we don’t have the money to get new ones weekly or resources, and or sanitize them. When you put an IV in someone with collapsed veins (Do it not practice) while being shot at and slid around with no balance and rushing. Then you should have something bad to say. PJs saved my life!!! They came into a hot zone and got me I was firing from my liter so that’s how bad it was! Thank god and the Air Force for the PJS

  74. Jonathan P
    United States
    March 24, 2013, 12:29 am

    I have to agree with Ralph here guys. I am a civilian paramedic, and knowing that PJ’s do the same medical schooling as I did (paramedic)…these [most of these] guys on the show have horrible clinical skills. Let me say that these guys are BEYOND hero’s…and are amazing soldiers, but their clinical skills are seriously lacking. Some of the things done by these guys would get me fired. IE…”Barry” placing the Chest decompression needle through the GI’s shirt… My partner is a retired Army medic, and got me into watching this show, and he agree’s with me 10000%, and made most of the points I bring here…and he has combat experience in Iraq. These guys need more clinical time. Don’t even start telling me that what I do cant be compared to what these guys do. Sure, we aren’t getting shot at…but We deal with just as much death and destruction. And do skills in just as difficult areas. Try intubating a patient, starting an IV, or doing other advanced skills in the back of an ambulance moving at 70mph, or along side a highway with tractor trailers wizzing by at 4am, or at the LZ of an air med-vac in the woods where at ATV rider was injured when its pitch dark. Dust, noise, weather, screaming parents, cops, dangerous scenes, frantic family members…you cannot tell me what I do is not stressful.

    I am NOT saying these guys aren’t brave. They are some of America’s finest soldiers, and I have the deepest admiration for them, and it isn’t their fault they are lacking in clinical skills. I am also not making blanket statements…I am sure there are many PJ’s that are excellent Paramedics.

    I just believe they need more hands on clinical experience before getting out there. So they are more confident and skilled, so they can save even more lives than they do now.

    Thanks to those who serve, much respect to them all.

    Jonathan

  75. Elaine
    pennsylvania
    March 24, 2013, 1:50 am

    I love this show! I had some family over there that was injured, and watching this show has shown me a better understanding of what is happening. I hope the show continues. I think all the men are very brave and unselfish..THANK YOU!

  76. Karen
    Phoenix Arizona
    March 25, 2013, 8:14 pm

    Love the show. I would like to know what the man is saying usually just before scramble scramble scramble.

  77. Tresa
    Michigan
    March 25, 2013, 10:13 pm

    Thank you for your service and all you do. God bless all of you. Yes, even you, Ralph, you blooming idiot! It’s super easy to judge from the Lazy Boy. By the way, most of the time around my hometown, medivac won’t even fly if there is a slight breeze! Can’t imagine asking them to fly in a warzone!

  78. Charlie
    NC
    March 25, 2013, 10:38 pm

    First of all, all you non combat experienced fools need to just sit back and eat your doughnuts. I want to thank Pedro for carrying my brothers to safety. OEF 11-12….and I know those FOBs and that area like the back of my hand…unfortunately. These guys rock. I’m also a Medic, but was a Sapper in a previous life, and was tasked back to that life for the last deployment. Ran RCPs and we had our fair share of hits, and Pedro or Army Air came to take our guys back. Thank you gentlemen, for giving our guys hope and SOME OF THE BEST CARE available. Triple amputations, GSWs, severe burns, etc….on a daily basis and these guys keep them stabilized and going until the Role 3 can take over

    I’m also a civilian EMT, and I know what I work with. Not everybody can serve, I get that….but you don’t have a clue as to what treating in that environment is like. Add in the unstable platform of a UH-60 (not some tweaked out French made, civilian rig, with all the bells and whistles). or the back of some MRAP with nothing more than an aid bag, take away sleep (how bout them rocket attacks, guys), take away good food (there’s no heading over to a nice resturant on a slow day….cause there are no slow days), not going home to see the Wife and kids for up to a year, the daily controlled dets (yeah, thats to clear explosives just outside the wire…that someone wants you to run over). And you have the stones to sit there, on your couch, in front of your TV and criticize these guys? AND try and compare what happens in the States with Afghanistan? Are you sampling out of the Narc box?? Get bent.
    Pedro, thank you. From a greatful customer.

    Gator 7

  79. Bob
    West Virginia
    March 25, 2013, 10:39 pm

    Ok… I understand the medical people on here might be seeing things that could have been done better or wasn’t done by these KIDS on this show. And I understand you Army guys hold a lot of jealousies towards the Air Force guys. But instead of criticizing these boys, how about thanking them for what they do. Especially you civilians who owe your freedoms to guys like these who are willing to put themselves in harms way “That others may live”. I’ve always known about the PJs and heard stories about them in my military career, but thankfully was never granted the insight to what these kids do until this show. I am very impressed by the way they handle themselves under that kind of stress. So thank you fellas for what you do. God bless you all and if I ever run into a PJ somewhere the beers are on me.

  80. Ech
    March 25, 2013, 10:41 pm

    @Ralph enlist and show us how its done bud! You talk a lot of shit lets see your skill’s out in Afghanistan, you would probably shit your pants trying to fly a helo out their in hostile territory….and Shame on all of you who talk down on those who are risking their life to save others regardless of branch or how much less or more they know about medical procedures or whatever. We are to be united we should not be criticizing one another or talking down on each other. Work together and learn from one another. Much respect to everyone who serves regardless of branch and regardless of rank. God Bless you all!!!

  81. Medical Director
    United States
    March 25, 2013, 10:56 pm

    I am genuinely disappointed at how this conversation thread started off; disappointed, because the civilian flight paramedics should demonstrate a little more respect. Paramedics, especially those in the flight world speak of fellowship and brotherhood all the time- it should be the bond that unites us. Instead, people like Ralph and Jonathan want to attack this gentleman and his colleagues over their opinion of how medicine should be practiced in the back of a medical helicopter a half-a-world away from their cushy civilian flight paramedic jobs in the very country these fine gentlemen are fighting to protect. That’s right, you guys are criticizing the very guys who are busting their asses fighting to defend (and saving the guys that fight to defend) defending your cushy lives. I don’t care how unsafe you believe your scene is here in America, it doesn’t hold a candle to the situations these boys fly into on the battle ground. No point in blistering your fingers preparing a response to this- it doesn’t come anywhere close. If your life is routinely being put at risk on your scenes, then your program director is an idiot for not having better procedures that keep you out of that situation, and if they do, you are plain stupid for going into situations that put you in such risk. Is there risk in civilian EMS or HEMS- absolutely, but I want to be clear, it does not compare to combat medicine/HEMS. If you still honestly feel it comes close- ENLIST. We look forward to reading your post after you return from deployment.
    Next, if you really think that crawling around on the floor of a Pavehawk making evasive maneuvers compares to being seat-belted to the cushioned seat of a BK, Eurocopter or Bell luxury helicopter, than you have inhaled way too much AvGas fumes. Want a comparison? Next time you go on a flight in the States, spill an IV bag on the floor, unbelt yourself, unlock the patient stretcher and have your pilot do back-and-forth 45-60 degree banking turns all the way back to the trauma center while you wear your flight pack on your back. Post the results here.
    As a former flight medic, current flight physician and flight service medical director, my experience has been that the more critical the medic/nurse/physician, the worse their own care. Just an anecdotal observation, but in 20+ years, the numbers are high and the P is still <0.05. The other issue in civilian aeromedicine that is not taking into account in your criticisms, gentlemen, is the inflated scene times. Flight services here in the states spend way too much time on scene. My colleagues and I are constantly thinking of ways of trying to improve scene times in our services. Many of us have found that the time is “wasted” on airway maneuvers that are often unnecessary. The fact is that field intubations in trauma patients have no statistically different outcomes than those who receive BLS airway management. The biggest difference in these patients is time lost: scene times of intubated patients are often double to that of BLS airway patients. That said, spend as much time on the ground in Afghanistan as we do as an industry in the United States and you are going to get you, your patient and your crew killed.
    Lastly, I wanted to touch on the “need more clinical experience” argument. First and foremost, we have an epidemic in the US of a lack of clinical experience for paramedics in general. The clinical experience provided by most accredited paramedic education programs still doesn’t adequately prepare them for prehospital service. In the military, the problem is even worse. Where exactly would you like to send these guys to get more clinical experience? Exactly what environment do you suggest would serve as an appropriate analog for what they will experience on that helicopter? Numbers are pretty limited, so who exactly is supposed to provide care in the field d while we put them in enough non-analog environments to try and meet the standards you suggest. It is done the same way as in most urban EMS systems. The inexperienced train, in the field, with the experienced, but again numbers are limited. Here are some of the issues:
    In the states, anyone can be a paramedic- that’s right, just about anyone. To be a PJ, you must:
    1. Be a US Citizen
    2. Be a volunteer
    3. Be a male (based on current Department of Defense policies)
    4. Have a general score of at least 43 on the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery test
    5. Have vision of best eye 20/70, worst eye 20/100; correctable to 20/20. (No Radial Keratotomy.)
    6. Have normal color vision
    7. Meet specific physical fitness standards
    8. Be a proficient swimmer
    9. Be a High School graduate or have a GED
    10. Able to obtain a SECRET security clearance
    11. Successful completion of the PAST test
    12. Minimum physical profile (PULHES) of 111111 (no problems)
    13. Pass an Initial flying class III physical qualification of aircrew, parachute, and maritime diving duty
    14. Strength aptitude standard of "K" for retention of AFSC
    • 2x25m Underwater Swim: Pass or Fail 10:00 Rest
    • Swim: 500m = 10:07 30:00 Rest
    • Run: 1.5m = 9:47 10:00 Rest
    • Pull ups: 10 (1 min) 2:00 Rest
    • Sit-Ups: 54 (2 min) 2:00 Rest
    • Push-Ups: 52 (2 min)
    That severely limits the number of trainable individuals. Now you have to train them:
    6.1 Parachute operations (Jumpmaster directed spotting for accuracy)
    6.1.1 Static line (low altitude)
    6.1.1.1 With combat equipment
    6.1.1.2 With SCUBA equipment
    6.1.1.3 Into forested areas
    6.1.1.4 Into vast bodies of water
    6.1.2 High Altitude Low Opening (military free fall)
    6.1.2.1 With combat equipment
    6.1.2.2 With oxygen
    6.1.3 High Altitude High Opening (cross country canopy flight)
    6.1.3.1 With combat equipment
    6.1.3.2 With oxygen
    6.2 Waterborne Infiltration's
    6.2.1 SCUBA/Draegger
    6.2.2 Submarine lock-outs
    6.2.3 Aircraft boat drops
    6.2.4 Rubber Raiding Craft operations
    6.2.5 Scout (surface) swimming
    6.3 Mountain Operations
    6.3.1 Rock/ice climbing
    6.3.2 Rappelling
    6.3.3 High angle evacuations
    6.4 Helicopter Operations
    6.4.1 Rappelling
    6.4.2 Fast rope
    6.4.3 Rope Ladder
    6.4.4 Hoist operations (PJs)
    6.4.5 Gunner/scanner (PJs)
    6.5 Overland Movement
    6.5.1 Motorcycles
    6.5.2 All Terrain Vehicles (ATVs)
    6.5.3 Motor vehicle
    6.5.4 Team navigation
    6.6 Arctic Operations
    6.6.1 Cross country skiing
    6.6.2 Downhill skiing
    6.6.3 Skijoring
    6.6.4 Snowmobiles
    6.6.5 Snowshoes
    6.6.6 Akhio
    Any of that look familiar from your civilian paramedic courses. Didn’t think so.
    The PJ paramedical education course is, unfortunately, a very small part of their overall training. This course teaches how to manage trauma patients prior to evacuation and provide emergency medical treatment. The course consists of two phases. Phase I is 5 weeks of Emergency Medical Technician Basic (EMT-B) training. Phase II consists of 17 weeks of instruction in minor field surgery, pharmacology , combat trauma management, advanced airway management, and military evacuation procedures are taught. Upon graduation, an EMT-Paramedic certification is awarded through the National Registry. This is all completed while on active duty, and usually after BMT and other military training/experience first.
    I’ve taken up enough landscape on this page, so here is the bottom line:
    If the only thing you got out of the show was to criticize these warriors on the medical care you saw on screen, you need to re-evaluate your perspective. Your best bet, is to sit back in your comfy house that no one is shooting at, drink a cold one and thank God these guys are risking their asses so that you can even have an opinion, let alone express it. If you really think you could do better (I’m willing to bet you think you could crab fish the Bering as well), then ENLIST. I’m willing to bet they would be happy to accept a few more warm bodies who believe they can hack life as a Medic in Hell.
    PJs- do what you do. I salute each and every one of you for your service. Call any flight service when you get home. We’d be happy to have you. That’s a job you could do in your sleep.

  82. Ech
    March 25, 2013, 10:59 pm

    Just wanted to Re-post what “Just Another PJ” Wrote.

    You guys think you have superior skill then Enlist and work your magic.

    Ralph, maybe it is easy for you to arm-chair quarterback our young guys from your couch at night. Its obvious you have no idea what its like so here are some things to consider:
    1. O2- I don’t always have it, do you know what happens when a bullet hits a compressed oxygen tank in the back of a helo? When I do have O2, its liquidox and it is getting saved for the young american soldier who is clinging to life and actually needs it.
    2. Tackling the airway. I am assuming you mean an advanced airway and posative ventilations? When you provide posative ventilations on a trauma pt, you knock out his respiratory drive. Not something I want to do in a multi-system trauma patient who is still maintaining his own airway. Also consider that many of these aren’t normal people, these are hardened special operators who will require sedation to let me tube him. Read up on this some more, its not a good idea in many cases.
    I’ll ignore youre IV comment since I saw blood being given to almost every pt. The Pt that had it fall out, it happened on the ground and obviously wasn’t secured for the PJ team.
    3. Immobilization- Read up on what happens when you put a C-collar on a guy who will be moved a lot without a full spine board (we don’t have full spine boards). You cause more damage than good. Also, immobilization isn’t necessary on penetrating trauma (GSWs and Shrapnel)
    4. Maybe the new guy didn’t get the first decompression, but he got the second one and fixed the problem. He learned from it without causing damage to his PT. Maybe youve never made a mistake when you were new?

    After every event, we spend hours beating ourselves up about what we should have done better and what would have been better for our guy. (And many times this is ignoring the fact that we rushed and inserted into a mine field or enemy area to get him out so he’d survive and go home alive) As much as I’d love for you to sit in on our debriefs and tell us how much we suck at your style of medicine, I think we’ve got it covered without Ralph.
    Next time you want to armchair quarterback, do yourself a favor: instead of talking down to us, take a quick look at some statistics. Specifically the ratio of multi system trauma patients in a pre-hospital setting that survive in our arena compared to yours.
    Love,
    Your Favorite PJ

  83. Dale
    St. Louis, MO
    March 26, 2013, 3:34 am

    Ralph,
    Ralph, when I was training to be an Air Force Security Policeman in 1980, I saw the PJ’s in their first phase of training right across the road. Everywhere they went they carried a thick rope and they ran. To go in or out of their dorm they had to do pull ups on the pull up bars on either side of their door. About 5% of the guys I saw actually made it all the way through PJ training which also included combat scuba diving and free fall HAHO and HALO jump qualifications plus national paramedic qualification and then PJ medicine which pushes them beyond standard paramedic qualifications. We stood in awe of these men and I still do!
    Ralph, your name inspires me to ralph. When you can say you have accomplished these things That Others May Live, please write again!

  84. JTH
    March 26, 2013, 4:46 pm

    Thanks Medical Director, eloquently stated. As a retired PJ/instructor I certainly agree the need for clinical experience is always a problem. Johnathon P and others need to realize the Pedro missions are only a small part of a PJ ‘s job but, unfortunately, are great training when new graduates are paired with veterans. My hat is off to all first responders both civilian and military. As I slip off into the easy chair and retirement, I must say I am very proud of the next generation of PJ’s. Until you can accept the fact that you may give up your life for someone else and have personally seen this happen, Jonathon P and Ralph will never understand “That Others May Live” is much more than just a motto.

  85. Mark
    Illinois
    March 28, 2013, 4:37 pm

    Amen Medical Director! I am a civillian EMT/FF and I am adddicted to this show, I am so thankful for these guys and what they do, I cannot imagine working on someone with all that gear on, body armor, ammo, etc. I cannot for the life of me imagine why anyone, especially a fellow EMS person would criticize in any way what these guys do, I would be greatly honored just to shake their hand and say a heartfelt THANK YOU, and may GOD BLESS YOU AND YOUR FAMILIES!!!!

  86. Michele
    Louisiana
    March 30, 2013, 10:44 pm

    I watched this show because my son has enlisted with the Marines and will be going to basic next month. In a way it was a comfort to me to know what happens when someone is hurt. I never knew any of this went on and I’m so thankful that I was able to view it and to know that these guys do their job well. What a service, what an honor. Thanks for all the service men, so that others may live!

  87. Michele Burns
    NEW YORK
    April 4, 2013, 3:37 pm

    God bless those men. They are so amazing. I am in such awe of their dedication and commitment.

  88. Nikkia
    Atlanta
    April 4, 2013, 8:02 pm

    I’m not in any part of the service, and I love this show. I respect all of your jobs & appreciate everything you all do. Thank you all & God Bless!!!

  89. JollyGreen
    April 7, 2013, 10:00 pm

    How is it that the only ones critiquing these guys are so to say medevac pilot, and another paramedic. The other guy is a dust off medic. The third I have seen across the Internet who seriously degrade the PJs, I’m guessing out of jealousy.
    To the pilot Ralph, keep flying the aircraft, and let the medical professionals be medical professionals. For one, the fly under a complete different set of protocols in a combat zone then your flight from highway 32 to county regional under only certain weather conditions, whereas these guys fly under status red, again, in a combat zone.
    To the paramedic, your either still in school, or you have a very easy AO, because what you said makes no sense. These guys fly 8 minutes from POI to trauma center, most of the time, the patients are packaged by ( a very respectable and unsung ) medics on the ground, so mainly is bleed control and get the patient ready for surgery. If the PT is talking, he has a airway, you might critique the IV administration, but with faint blood pressure, again, bleeding on a double amp causes the vien to be faint, something you SHOULD know, but by your armchairing, or self resolve to make yourself feel better, you lack this know ledge.
    To the dust off medic, I know your egos are hurt because you didn’t get the coverage. Why you dustoffs are always foul to other of the same brand of warriors ( navy corpsman, army ground medics, Air Force PJs) I will never understand. It is easy to critique these guys who are tv but we both know yes you can prob provide better treatment to a patient since you will only have one in most circumstances, where these guys have 3-5.
    Either way, every medical professional here or abroad play a special role in people’s lives everyday, some more pressure them others, the PJs always in dire circumstances, some will always downgrade the next, whether its self motivation or lack there of, these heros go out willing to lay down they’re lives to save yours, have some respect

  90. PMP
    Australia
    August 24, 2013, 6:15 am

    Fantastic programme. Thank you Nat Geo for bringing this to the world. I have never really thought about the guys that go in and rescue the wounded, but to think what these PJ’s go through…what they do for these soldiers/civillians just so they have a chance at going back home is truly humbling and amazing. The show is very confronting, very emotional but I have a whole new respect for the military now.

    My dad and I are glued to the TV when this is on.

    Thank you.

  91. Chris
    August 24, 2013, 10:49 am

    I was wondering why, in episode 1, they were not picking up two Afghan children because of MEDROE, but in other episodes they do help civilians (e.g. in episode 5 a civilian who stepped on an IED). Does anybody have an explanation, please?

  92. Confused
    Australia
    September 5, 2013, 10:09 pm

    Hi there, this may be a stupid question but I’m so curious.
    Why do the PJs save the injured Afghan Soilder the Allies???
    I think what the do is absolutely incredible.

  93. OTR
    Australia
    September 7, 2013, 10:19 pm

    @ Confused
    Waves to fellow Australian.

    The PJ’s save American soldiers and any coalition forces (allies) which include the Afghan National Army soldiers. They also save any civilians hit by an ally or American. That is their ultimate goal, to save lives of Americans and allies, which makes it even more incredible.

    @Chris – In episode 5 I think they saved the civilian because he was dropped off at an American outpost.

  94. Soren Ulrich thomsen
    Danmark
    April 1, 7:54 am

    Funny to see the series, I have been on exercise with Berry in Denmark.

  95. army vet
    June 15, 3:30 pm

    @Ralph, you have no clue what it’s like being in a combat zone while trying to save your fellow brothers and sisters, so stop criticizing the P.J.s, guarantee you couldn’t do that shit, you ungrateful ass

  96. 64 Charlie
    Riverside CA
    June 17, 3:48 pm

    What does “Pedro” stand for? Is the mustache on the front of the helicopter in reference to Pedro?

  97. Paramedic IDMT
    Fort Walton Beach FL
    August 22, 11:55 am

    I agree and disagree. PJ are great rescue guys, but medicine is there 2nd job. You aren’t gonna get too many to calc a dope drip on the spot, but I would rather have one with me if shit goes nuts than an ER doc. With that, these guys are working under TCCC/ATP protocols with very limited time. What you are not seeing is the integration with other teams. What I have noticed is if you meet one and they figure out you are not just a card carrying paramedic, but know your shit, they are all about learning.

  98. Loams
    South Africa
    August 22, 12:56 pm

    PJs give new meaning to the proverb “when the going gets tough, the tough get going” – real time heroes of the storm!!

  99. Dutch
    Alabama
    September 10, 3:00 pm

    If I had just been wounded/ maimed by an IED, I wouldn’t care if Barney Fife were standing over me with some gauze and 10mg of advil, I think, as long as I was conscious, I’d take whatever help he could offer. Having said that, the level of expertise, professionalism, compassion, and selflessness exhibited by the young men who serve should not be questioned. Of course we all have the right to do so, but these are the men who fight (and support others who fight) to protect that right as well as all the others we enjoy in the USA. God bless America and our troops!