Medical personnel join forces to save lives in Sangin
Sailors with the Shock Trauma Platoon, Surgical Company A, Combat Logistics Regiment 15 (Forward), 1st Marine Logistics Group and the sailors with 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines Battalion Aid Station have the same mission in mind: save lives in Sangin, Afghanistan.
While the two medical teams are comprised of professionals with different skill sets, they have begun working together to complete an important mission. The medical staff with the 3/5 Battalion Aid Station is trained and equipped for primary care medicine and ensures the fighting force is medically ready to conduct counterinsurgency operations in Sangin. The corpsmen with the STP are trained to provide life-saving medical care to the critically-injured.
“Yes, it’s nice stopping the bleeding and protecting the wound, but you may never know when you may need to diagnose an illness,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Kelly D. Talavera, leading petty officer of STP with Alpha Surgical Company, CLR-15 (FWD), 1st MLG (FWD).
Talavera’s normal work day consists of administering blood to critically-injured personnel and treating gunshot wounds and injuries caused by improvised explosive device blasts. As she works with the Battalion Aid Station corpsmen, she will learn how to treat non-life threatening illnesses as well, such as administering antibiotics for viruses or infections.
In return, she and her fellow STP medical personnel will teach the Battalion Aid Station corpsmen how to provide emergency medical care to those critically injured in battle.
"The better medical capabilities we have here, the better we can support our Marines," said Lt. Cmdr. Patrick M. Hare, Battalion Surgeon with 3/5. "Everyone brings different experiences and skills to the table."
Personnel with the STP and BAS have worked in a wide variety of locations, including Naval hospitals, clinics and aboard ships. Everyone brings unique skill sets and knowledge they pass on to their fellow corpsmen.
“Learning skills other than their trade can make them well-rounded corpsmen,” said Talavera, 32, from Providence, R.I.
The corpsmen are not only teaching each other but are also training medical personnel with the Afghan National Army.
Recently, a medic from the Afghan National Army brought a patient to the BAS and worked hand-in-hand with the corpsmen to provide medical attention to the wounded local national, added Hare.
“We provide medical training to the ANA medical staff,” said Hare, 48, from Charleston, N.C. “So when we leave, their capabilities have improved.”
"The whole reason we are out here is to make sure the men and women get home," said Lt. Cmdr. Michael R. Melia, officer in charge of the STP with Alpha Surgical Company, Combat Logistics Regiment 15 (Forward), 1st Marine Logistics Group (Forward). "It doesn't matter who gets the credit."
Article by Cpl Shannon McMillan, 1st Marine Logistics Group Public Affairs