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    JTC-J certifies new combat lifesavers

    JTC-J certifies new combat lifesavers

    Photo By Sgt. 1st Class SHAIYLA HAKEEM | U.S. Army Soldiers roll a simulated casualty onto a litter during the culminating...... read more read more

    My friends just got blown up
    Their arms are broke and legs are stuck
    But I would do anything
    To keep them alive!

    This remix of an old Army marching cadence rings true for combat medics who embody the Army value selfless service. The dreaded scream of, “MEDIC!” deems a situation where medical care, whether it be minor or life threatening, is immediately needed. Depending on the situation, a medic may or may not be available. This is where a combat lifesaver would step in.

    Combat medics, with 38th Infantry Division, Task Force Spartan, Indiana National Guard, hosted a Combat Lifesaver (CLS) Course at Joint Training Center-Jordan from Oct. 13 to 16, 2019, teaching lifesaving techniques that may one day prevent the death of a comrade.

    The phrase, “I will always place the mission first, I will never accept defeat, I will never quit, I will never leave a fallen comrade,” is the U.S. Army Warrior Ethos that’s drilled into the minds of every Soldier during Basic Combat Training. A situation can turn from sweet to tart within seconds and Soldiers must be able to complete the mission, remain mentally agile and prevent death by fighting back and securing the area to administer medical aid.

    “If you don’t return fire, you are not going to be able to move up and take care of that casualty,” said U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Christopher Coleman, a combat medic with 38th Infantry Division, Task Force Spartan, Indiana National Guard.

    According to the U.S. Army Medical Department Center and School Department of Combat Medic Training, approximately 90 percent of combat deaths occur on the battlefield before the casualties reach a medical treatment facility. It has been estimated that proper use of self-aid, buddy-aid and combat lifesaver skills can reduce battlefield deaths by 15 to 18 percent.

    Coleman, an instructor for the CLS Course, has been a combat medic with the Indiana National Guard for the past 10 years and works as an emergency medical technician at a Level I pediatric trauma center in his civilian occupation. He is exposed to life-threatening injuries daily at the trauma center, which he said helps him to better evaluate not only patients, but their surroundings. He applies this skill set in both civilian and military situations.

    Combat medics can only work on one individual at a time, treating the most severe first. If there are multiple casualties, or the medic is injured, CLSs are instrumental in potentially saving lives. During the course, CLSs were trained to provide immediate care categorized as care under fire, tactical field care and tactical evacuation.

    Care under fire consists of using a tourniquet to stop life-threatening bleeding, but returning fire to kill the enemy remains the primary mission.

    “You are always a Soldier first and you have to make sure the area is safe,” explained Coleman, “If the area isn’t safe, you won’t be able to properly treat them, and more soldiers will be at risk.”

    Tactical field care is rendered in a secure environment. The students learned techniques such as clearing a blocked airway using a nasopharyngeal, treating hypovolemic shock, providing care for an open chest wound, applying tourniquets to stop arterial bleeding and performing needle chest decompression for a casualty suffering from tension pneumothorax, to name a few.

    A combat lifesaver may also assist combat medics in preparing casualties for evacuation, which falls under the tactical evacuation category. This includes properly fill out a U.S. Field Medical Card, or Tactical Combat Casualty Care Card, and transmitting a 9 Line medical evacuation request.

    The overall goal of the course was to equip Soldiers with the skills to decrease the number of deaths in the field, which starts with basic techniques such as focusing on opening airways and controlling blood loss. A combat lifesaver is the bridge between the self-aid and buddy-aid. The Army’s greatest asset is our people – the finest men and women our great nation has to offer.

    “To be able to bring them back, we have to be able to provide lifesaving interventions right there on scene,” explained Coleman, “Otherwise, they may not make it back.”



    Date Taken: 10.21.2019
    Date Posted: 10.21.2019 03:31
    Story ID: 348387
    Location: JO

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