CAMP BONDSTEEL, Kosovo – Multinational Battle Group-East soldiers can safely provide first responder lifesaving measures after completing the combat lifesaver course at Camp Bondsteel Aug. 5-9.
Nineteen French and U.S. soldiers from MNBG-E completed the 40-hour course.
“This week we went through a basic combat lifesaver course, starting with the classroom portion,” said U.S. Army Spc. Stephanie Crabbe, a medic with Task Force Medical and a native of Front Royal, Va. “We taught them the basics of first responding to combat care and casualties in the field.”
The Army combat lifesaver course is a bridge between the self-aid/buddy-aid training given to all soldiers during basic training and the medical training given to combat medics. The course is a combination of classroom training and practical, hands on training. The "combat lifesaver" is a nonmedical soldier who provides first responder lifesaving measures in accordance with the latest tactical combat casualty care protocols.
Crabbe said they taught the different care phases and how to do a proper order of assessment in order to maximize lifesaving.
“[Soldiers] went through four days of the in-classroom [training], mixed with hands-on,” Crabbe said. “We also went over extra medical skills just to give them tips and tricks because [CLS] is important. Ninety percent of the deaths that occur on the battlefield are preventable.”
Following the classroom portion, soldiers were given a written exam and then tested in a combat scenario environment.
“We stress them out, put them under a real-life simulated situation and make them hot, stressed out, with heart rates going, so they can really feel what it feels like under pressure when you're trying to save someone's life,” Crabbe explained.
Crabbe and her teammates put together a blacked out room with chemical lights and head lamps as the only source of light. Soldiers entered the room in teams of two and had to provide life saving measures to simulated injured personnel, followed by performing a proper nine-line medical evacuation called over the radio.
“They did a good job making it feel like a combat zone that was dark,” said U.S. Army 1st Lt. Rachel Kinney, a platoon leader with the 62nd Ordnance Company out of Fort Carson, Colo., and an Onawa, Iowa, native.
Kinney said it was very loud and very difficult to see.
“They had the sounds of gunshot fire, played the part of casualties and really put a sense of urgency on you,” Kinney said. “You had to act fast. It was stressful, realistic training. [TF MED] did a good job teaching. It was my first certification in CLS and it was a very good first experience.”
||BAMBERG, BY, DE
||FORT BRAGG, NC, US
||FORT CARSON, CO, US
||FRONT ROYAL, VA, US
||ONAWA, IA, US
This work, MNBG-E certify as combat lifesavers, by SGT Samantha Stoffregen, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.