Marines develop skills to save lives on battlefield
MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. — Marines and sailors from the Advisor Training Cell provided the Combat Lifesavers course to various units here, Aug. 17.
The course teaches skills and techniques in a classroom setting with a focus on hands-on training to ensure Marines are proficient with course objectives. Throughout the five-day course the students learn and implement skills that will lead them to becoming CLS certified.
“These teams are pretty isolated during their deployments so they may not necessarily have a corpsman when they deploy,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Donald Bird, a hospital corpsman with ATC and an instructor for the CLS course. “The corpsman can’t be everywhere at once so it’s kind of a force multiplier for the corpsman. It gives the corpsman more medical hands to help take care of the wounded until they can get hands on the injured.”
Students conducted hands-on training for a variety of skills such as, controlling massive hemorrhaging, maintaining an open airway, how to check and treat the chest for any penetrating trauma, splinting and treating burns.
“We teach them all the essential medical skills to treat major injuries in combat,” said Bird, 21, from Moorpark, Calif. “On the fifth day they do a hands-on practical application test where the stress level increases. We have instructors yelling at them which puts a lot of pressure on them. Some people perform really well with no stress. Once you put them under a little bit of stress, that’s when it actually tests their ability to perform in combat.”
Petty Officer 2nd Class Francis Ariola, a hospital corpsman with ATC and an instructor for the course, noted the importance of Marines receiving the training before their upcoming deployment.
“There’s a huge threat with improvised explosive devices. With IEDs you can lose limbs so you need to be able to stop the life threatening injury,” said Ariola, 24, from Los Angeles. “It’s important they have this skill set so they can save their lives and the lives of others.
“The training is very realistic so they won’t be freaked out once they see an actual casualty out in Afghanistan. They learn all of the information a person needs to know to save a life.”
Article by Lance Cpl. Mark Garcia, I MEF