MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. - Two Marines and 13 sailors from 1st Marine Logistics Group participated in the Basic Life Support course, a one-day course held twice a month for personnel to refresh their basic lifesaving skills aboard Camp Pendleton, Calif., July 22, 2013.
The course is accredited by the American Heart Association and medical corpsmen are required to complete it every two years. It covers topics related to responding to life-threatening emergencies such as conducting chest compressions, providing correct ventilation and the proper use of an automated external defibrillator.
“The BLS course is important in training corpsmen on how to provide high quality cardiopulmonary resuscitation in a hospital setting,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Aaron Christian Abreu, basic life-support program director, 1st Medical Battalion, 1st MLG. “For example, when a corpsman deploys to a hospital in Germany or a medical treatment facility overseas, once the first-line corpsmen stabilize the patients, it is up to (the hospital corpsman) to watch out for any complications and use BLS skills when needed.”
The two Marines and 13 sailors from 1st MLG demonstrated both practical skills and knowledge in the class by providing chest compressions and ventilation to a training dummy.
“Cardiopulmonary resuscitation can be the one thing that keeps that patient alive until emergency medical services come to take care of that patient and bring them to the next echelon of care,” said Petty Officer 3rd Class James Allen, a hospital corpsman with 1st Medical Bn.
In keeping with the Navy’s high standards of training, corpsmen are also required to regularly take a number of medical care courses before deploying.
“Prior to deployment, corpsmen also have to take courses such as the Tactical Combat Casualty Care course and the Advanced Combat Tactical Training course, where battlefield environments are simulated,” said Abreu, a native of the Philippines.
With the completion of the course, each Marine and sailor is more knowledgeable on how to perform BLS skills, increasing their deployment readiness and ensuring that they are able to perform lifesaving procedures, whether in the field or in garrison, said Abreu.