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    HHC 72nd IBCT Instructs Soldiers and Iraq's Federal Police in Combat Lifesaving at Baghdad Facility

    HHC 72nd IBCT Instructs Soldiers and Iraq's Federal Police in Combat Lifesaving at Baghdad Facility

    Photo By Staff Sgt. Melissa Bright | In this image, released by Texas Army National Guard, Fort Walton, Fla., resident,...... read more read more

    Baghdad- This month, soldiers with the Headquarters Company of the 72nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team and members of Iraq's Federal Police took the opportunity to learn the skills needed to become an Army Combat Lifesaver (CLS) at facilities located on Camp Prosperity, Baghdad.

    A CLS is a non-medic soldier with moderate emergency medical training who is able to provide care at the same location where the injury was received. These skills are intended for use in combat; however, they may be applied to Soldiers in non-combat situations.

    Soldiers are trained to function as a CLS secondary to their primary mission; undertaken only when the tactical situation permits. They are taught that returning fire and maintaining personal safety is paramount to providing medical care to a casualty.

    Students were instructed by Staff Sgt. Douglas Whitney, of the 72nd IBCT, Joint Area Support Group-Central, in various techniques to treat and stabilize injuries related to combat, including, but not limited to, blast injury, amputation, severe bleeding, penetrating chest injuries, simple airway management, and evacuation techniques.

    The Combat Lifesaver doctrine was developed as an effort to increase survivability in combat environments where the combat medic may not be readily available.

    The CLS is not intended to take the place of medical personnel, but to slow deterioration of a wounded soldier's condition until medical personnel arrive. It is considered a bridge between self aid or buddy aid, and the Combat Medic.

    The class was held in the dining facility overflow room and began with a bit of shuffling of chairs and condiments as groups of four removed the contents of a typical CLS bag and placed them on the tables.

    The CLS bag has evolved quite a bit as a result of new advances in trauma management and feedback from users in the field. Because of that, there were several new additions that some students were unfamiliar with.

    For example, the needle used for chest decompression is housed in its own special casing that looks very similar to a permanent marker, there are new chest-wound coverings that eliminate the need to use plastic and tape and a self-heating blanket, similar to the air activated hand-warmers, was added to aid in the prevention of shock.

    Spc. Crystal Smith, a Houston resident deployed who with the 72nd IBCT and is working with the Camp Prosperity billeting office, found the eye-wound covering particularly useful and was heard muttering "Argh, matey quit your belly-aching" eliciting several laughs from those in her group, including some of the FP members when her words were translated back to them.

    The class started slowly due to the need to wait for each section to be translated, but was filled with vital refresher training on the proper insertion of nasopharyngeal airways, how and when to use tourniquets and how to perform a physical assessment of the casualty.

    Whitney, a Fort Walton, Fla., native, explains that while the Combat Action Tourniquet (CAT) may not be the most exciting portion of the class, it is possibly the most vital.

    "The CAT is 100 percent effective if put on correctly. With the cravat or the other items, it's not perfect because you still have blood that comes out, but the tourniquet is 100 percent effective," he said. "It'll save a life quicker than anything."

    After ensuring the students from both countries had a clear understanding of the basics, Whitney moved on to the hands-on segment of the course.

    For this portion of the class, he had prepared a dummy training aid to ensure the students could actually insert the nasopharyngeal airway correctly, apply the CAT, properly cover a chest wound and locate the inter-costal space for insertion of the chest decompression needle.

    Afterwards, Whitney moved on to buddy carries, including one and two-man teams.
    As usual with this part of the class, the students had fun lifting each other, using laughter to cover the many groans elicited from straining muscles unused to the burden.

    "After just a few tries, the Federal Police members got the hang of the unfamiliar lifts," said Capt. Kelly Wilhelms of San Antonio, Texas, representative for the Headquarters Company for the 56th Sustainment Brigade Federal Police Training Team.

    After some time practicing the lifts, the students moved on to the practical testing portion where several scenarios were presented and they were required to perform a variety of techniques to stabilize and evacuate the casualty.

    At the end of the training all the students received certificates attesting to their participation and thanking them for their time.

    "I know the American Army Soldiers are already familiar with this information but this is the first time I've watched our Iraqi colleagues participate in something like this," said Wilhelms at the end of the day.

    "Throughout the day, they have been telling us they really enjoyed the opportunity to be here with us. Some of our training and information is new and some is not. Either way, they will be taking a great experience back with them."



    Date Taken: 06.18.2010
    Date Posted: 06.18.2010 03:24
    Story ID: 51574
    Location: BAGHDAD, IQ

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