News: 2-23 trains to save lives
Story by Sgt. William Howard
FORT CARSON, Colo.— With a temperature of 90 degrees and the sun high overhead, four Soldiers wearing full combat gear achingly dragged their comrade, strapped to a litter, inch-by-inch under 10 feet of barbed wire.
After two days of classroom instruction more than 30 Soldiers of 2nd Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment, 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, began live practice at the Mountain Post Medical Simulation Training Center, July 23.
“Today we’re going through the initial hands-on phase of the combat lifesaver course,” Sgt. Trevor Shackleton, treatment noncommissioned officer in charge, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Bn., 23rd Inf. Reg., 1st SBCT, 4th Inf. Div. “We’re putting everything they learned in the classroom from the last two days into practical exercises.”
Squads of Soldiers received close guidance from combat medics on maneuvering a litter, applying a tourniquet, bandaging, clearing the airway and extracting casualties from a vehicle.
“I want to instill muscle memory so they’re mind can shut off and they can do what needs to be done,” said Spc Pedro Paula, combat medic, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Bn., 23rd Inf. Reg., 1st SBCT, 4th Inf. Div. “By the end of the class they know they’re making a difference and helping the fight.”
Paula, a former civilian emergency medical technician, said he enjoys being able to build a Soldier’s confidence in providing life saving care.
“I believe that every medic should be passionate about teaching their job,” added Paula. “In the long run it will help me out, help the whole unit and get the mission done.”
Most of the Soldiers are new to the Army and the course is helping them establish camaraderie among their squads.
“We’ll be more trustworthy to each other because of this training,” said Pvt. Harrison McLeod, infantryman, Company B, 2nd Bn., 23rd Inf. Reg., 1st SBCT, 4th Inf. Div. “It’s hot but everyone is having a good time out here and it’s a great learning experience.”
The annual Combat Lifesaver Course teaches Soldiers the basics in battlefield casualty care during 40 hours of classroom instruction and hands-on exercises. The Soldiers are required to pass a written test and practical evaluation.