CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. -- Corpsmen are outnumbered by the number of Marines they are charged to care for, sometimes one corpsman to every 15 Marines. This is why courses that teach Marines basic lifesaving skills are important for today’s combat operations.
Marines and sailors with 1st Marine Logistics Group completed a combat lifesaver course aboard Camp Pendleton, Calif., Nov. 6, 2013. During the course, Marines and sailors learned vital skills such as providing CPR, treating injuries like sucking chest wounds and applying tourniquets.
Upon completion of the course, Marines are capable and confident in performing combat trauma care. This basic medical training also offers Marines and sailors potentially lifesaving knowledge to bring back to their units.
The experience gained during the three-day course is a necessity on the battlefield in order for Marines and sailors to receive urgent care to get back in the fight.
“This is something I can come back with and show others,” said Lance Cpl. Joshua Shed, a warehouse clerk for 1st Supply Battalion, Combat Logistics Regiment 15, 1st MLG. “Now I have the knowledge and skills to make a difference if I have to.”
“We teach them as much as possible in regards to combat lifesaving medical techniques they can take with them,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Peter Lam, a Navy tactical readiness training instructor with Combat Logistics Regiment 17, 1st MLG. “We also teach them how to properly aid corpsmen with the most common injuries they would come across.”
Day one starts with a class covering common injuries to expect and prepare for in a combat zone. On day two, participants practice learning objectives in a practical application that gives participants a hands-on training overview of skills learned the previous day. On the third day, students must work as a team, triaging and treating a gunshot victim using the techniques they learned.
“They were cool, calm and collected during the testing portion,” said Lam. “I am very pleased with the participation of the [service members] in the class.”
Although the class only covers the basics of combat lifesaving, the participants learned everything they need to effectively respond to a life-threatening situation and administer a basic level of care.
“We were taught how to save lives under fire,” said Seaman Daniel Benavidas, a logistics specialist with 1st Supply Bn., CLR-15, 1st MLG. “We learned how to treat injured victims by bandaging and knowing what medication to give them to save their lives during a firefight.”
Approximately 18 Marines and sailors participated in the course. For some, it was the first time taking a course that offered additional knowledge about treating combat injuries.
“This is my first time going through a course like this,” said Benavidas, a native of Houston. “The practical application portion was really intense. I can’t believe how much I’ve learned in the past three days. I would recommend this course to anyone who wants to learn something useful. The skills I have learned in this course could save lives.”