Combat lifesaver course teaches lifesaving battlefield skills
U.S. Air Force
The 418th Civil Affairs Battalion and the Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA) medical surgeon cell at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti conducted a Combat Lifesaver Course (CLC) Jan. 16-20, 2017.
The CLC instructs non-medical service members on emergency medical procedures as a secondary mission with the purpose of reducing preventable deaths on the battlefield.
“The combat lifesaver course is a vital tool that provides non-medical [personnel] the training needed to provide lifesaving measures beyond the level of self-aid or buddy aid,” said Sgt. 1st Class Fallicia Keith, medic and senior instructor. “The course prepares and trains CJTF-HOA's U.S military and partner nation service members to provide emergency lifesaving measures.”
The 40-hour course is centered on the three different phases of tactical combat casualty care: care under fire, tactical field care and casualty evacuation care. It is a blended classroom and hands-on training given by certified combat medics.
“This course instructs military members on how to treat injuries, how to send up the appropriate radio messages using proper edict and the most effective, efficient ways to remove a patient from the combat zone,” said Sgt. Ashley Jones, medic and instructor for the CLC. “In the course we teach what is happening inside the body when injuries occur and the proper treatment for those injuries. Students will learn how to use tourniquets, maintain airways, perform needle chest decompressions, and utilize Combat Gauze appropriately.” Jones said.
While service members are on combat missions the availability of medical care may be limited. Survival may be dependent on the skills of the individual military member.
“Class graduates will be able to clearly and quickly identify and channel up all medical emergencies. Quick life-saving skills help stabilize patients until they can reach more advanced care.” Jones said.
A properly trained combat lifesaver is capable of stabilizing many types of casualties and can slow the deterioration of a wounded personnel's condition until medical personnel arrive.
“Everything that we teach for basic practical skills, have been learned from WWI to Desert Storm,” said Sgt. Jones “The Combat Lifesavers course will help ensure every method taught will be utilized to save the lives we can, and bring our brothers, and sisters home.”
On the final day, students take a written exam. After the exam, they respond to mock scenarios that test their new skill set. Upon successful completion of the course, the service member is certified for one year and an annual recertification is required.