Army Medics Teach Lifesaving Skills to Bomb Disposal Soldiers

Combat Lifesaver Course offered to explosive ordnance personnel.



CHERYL RODEWIG | | Thursday, July 19, 2012

FORT BENNING, Ga. - Eight Soldiers were recertified as combat lifesavers Wednesday after successfully completing a three-day course taught by the 690th Medical Company (Ground Ambulance).

While the Combat Lifesaver Course is offered periodically postwide, sometimes a unit can't make one of the scheduled classes, so the 690th provides the needed instructors and curriculum, said Sgt. Tamara Bracey, treatment NCO, who helped teach the course last week to 789th Explosive Ordnance Detachment Soldiers.

"Every company has to have a certain number of combat lifesavers," Bracey said. "Everybody who is certified as a combat lifesaver must get their certification updated annually."

That's not only to refresh their skills, she said, but also to learn about the latest changes in combat medical care.

Five medics led the most recent course, which included nine lessons culminating in a field test and written exam. The field portion was scenario-based to simulate a deployment environment.

"You don't want somebody who's supposed to be a combat lifesaver ... to get on the battlefield and freeze, so you train them how you want them to fight, then they know how to react," Bracey said. "You don't even have to think about it -- 'I have to put on the tourniquet. I have to pull this person out of the hot zone. I have to get all my information, so I can call the nine-line medevac.' You don't want them to ever be like, 'What do I do next?'"

To make the test more realistic, Soldiers worked in the wood line, wore their gear, responded to enemy fire and provided medical assistance for Soldiers with simulated wounds.

"It is muscle memory," Bracey said. "If you just do it in a classroom environment, where they don't have on their gear or anything like that, they don't take it as seriously, but if you try to make the training as realistic as being out there on the battlefield, one, they remember it better and two, it's like, 'Wow, this is not a game, this is not a joke.'"

"It was a good class," said Pfc. Sam Hall, who first took the course more than a year ago in basic training.

"It's good skills to refresh," he said. "I have a better sense of confidence about it since I actually put it into practice instead of just reading about it. It's good to know we were trained by people with experience. They're in-depth with their teaching. They'd show us, then we'd take a break and ... practice it while still in the classroom. Then when we came out here, we got to put it all together. That's the best way to learn."

Hall's first job was to carry the litter to the site.

"But once we all got down there, we all did all the roles," he said. "We all covered for each other at one point. We all helped with the medical procedures at one point."

The private applied a bandage to a chest wound as cadre reminded the Soldiers to continue speaking to the casualties as they aided them.

"Once you actually get in a stressful situation, it's the little things you tend to forget," said Hall, stationed with the 789th EOD since April. "It's good to just try and keep your head clear and just remember everything you were taught."

While executing each procedure correctly is important, combat lifesavers have succeeded if they cause no further injury to the wounded and get them evacuated in a timely manner, Bracey said.

"The basic lifesaving measures make a world of difference," she said. "If you can just stop the bleeding, if you can maintain an airway, when I come on the scene it makes my job so much easier. So I really appreciate them. I appreciate that they understood what they learned and they acted it out here. That just gives me more confidence when they go out on the battlefield."

Copyright © 2013 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Terms and Conditions | Privacy Policy

Connect: Have a thought or feedback about this? Add your comment now
Related Topics: News, military EMS

What's Your Take? Comment Now ...

Featured Careers & Jobs in EMS










Get JEMS in Your Inbox


Fire EMS Blogs

Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts


EMS Airway Clinic

The Evolution of Civilian High Threat Medical Guidelines

How mass killing events have proven a need for new guidelines.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

Kentucky Firefighters, Medics Drill for Ebola

Lexington firefighters and medics prepare for possible patients.
Watch It >

Multimedia Thumb

Mid-South EMTs Prepare for Ebola

Mid-South EMTs are certified for service.
Watch It >

Multimedia Thumb

Ebola Changes How North Carolina EMS Responds to Calls

Concern about virus spread leads to new protocols.
Watch It >

Multimedia Thumb

Oklahoma Hospitals Prepare for Ebola Cases

Training and preparation are keys for metro hospitals.
Watch It >

Multimedia Thumb

Life Link III Trauma Tactics Conference in Minnesota

Conference was designed to enhance the skills of providers of all levels, covering rescue and prehospital situations, to transport and in-hospital treatment.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

EMS Tailgating

Rigs converted for football.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

CDC Ebola Training for Clinicians

Students learn the complexities of working in bulky suits.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

The AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher Conversion Kit - EMS Today 2013

AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher all-hazards preparedness & response tool
Watch It >

Multimedia Thumb

LMA MAD Nasal™

Needle-free intranasal drug delivery.
Watch It >

Multimedia Thumb

Field Bridge Xpress ePCR on iPad, Android, Kindle Fire

Sneak peek of customizable run forms & more.
Watch It >

More Product Videos >