News: 1st CEB Marines learn field care
Story by Lance Cpl. John McCall
MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. – Marines with 1st Combat Engineer Battalion learned about basic field medicine with help from their corpsmen during a combat life saver course here, Aug. 15-17.
“This class shows Marines how to save lives,” said Petty Officer 3rd Class Adriell Gonzales, 26, a corpsman from Clarks Summit, Pa. “It is something that every Marine should go through when preparing for combat.”
After one day devoted entirely to classroom instruction, Marines conducted hands-on training where they practiced the techniques taught to them.
“We teach them how to treat field injuries and sustain life on the battlefield,” said Petty Officer 3rd Class Jonathan Faletoi, 21, a corpsman from Lake Elsinore, Calif. “How to properly stop the bleeding, utilize tourniquets, use combat gauze and establish an airway are all things they learn during the course.”
Even though the course is only training, participants were reminded often how important these skills can be if they ever find themselves in a situation where it’s necessary to use them.
“This training is important because a corpsman may not always be around or he could get injured himself,” Gonzales said. “If there is a Marine there who has some knowledge of field aid he can provide care until other help arrives for the patient.”
The culminating event of the course was a test involving three security patrols where Marines were given objectives to complete and casualties to save.
In preparation for the test, troops were blind folded and expected to provide aid to a patient suffering from many of the same injuries they had just been taught how to fix.
“If more Marines went through this training it could save a lot of lives,” said Pfc. Eliezer Ventura, 21, an administrative clerk from Irving, Texas. “Instead of having all the weight left on the corpsman’s shoulders you could spread the responsibility of providing aid to some of the other Marines in the squad.”
The 1st CEB is currently taking part in Enhanced Mojave Viper, the Marine Corps’ pre-deployment training evolution aimed at preparing Marines for Afghanistan.
“I learned a lot from the course,” said Pfc. Kenji Kamara, 20, an administrative clerk from Bowie, Md. “They are skills you can use anywhere, not just on the battlefield. You have the knowledge to help save a citizen’s life or one of your family members.”
Marines passed the final test and became qualified combat life savers, but the real test will be when they deploy to Afghanistan in the coming months.