Photo Information

Petty Officer 1st Class Sarah Reed, a Combat Lifesaver Course instructor, checks for breathing on a simulated casualty during the CLS course hosted by the Advisor Training cell at Camp Pendleton, Nov. 16. The CLS course equips Marines with fundaments to treat combat casualties.

Photo by Cpl. Salvador R. Moreno

Marines receive advanced medical aid

17 Nov 2011 | Cpl. Salvador R. Moreno

The Advisor Training Cell aboard Camp Pendleton is filtering Marines through a combat lifesaver course to enable them to care for their wounded.

The course teaches Marines to treat and evacuate wounded service members on the battlefield.

“It is an introduction to tactical medicine for deployed Marines,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Donald Bird, a CLS course instructor with ATC. “It’s a five-day course where we teach everything from mass hemorrhages, pressure dressings and hypothermia treatment. Pretty much anything that could kill someone on the battlefield.”

The week-long course covers multiple combat scenarios; including circumstances where there are multiple casualties and the corpsman are outnumbered.

This allows more Marines to provide aid rather than waiting for a corpsman to administer aid to one casualty at a time.

“It’s critical for the Marines to know it because the corpsmen can’t always be there,” Bird said. “More than likely, the Marines are going to be the first one to come up to that casualty, so if they can maintain that casualty and keep him alive until the corpsmen can get there, that’s going to increase the survivability rate quite a bit.”

Every Marine receives a basic course at boot camp, but the CLS course is meant to build on those skills.

“We teach Marines how to manage and treat casualties to ensure their patient lives through the injuries,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Sarah Reed, a CLS course instructor with ATC.

The training is more than a check in the box. The course prepares Marines to deal with burns, fractures, collapsed lungs, sucking chest wounds and shock treatment. The students are continuously tested on their knowledge through written exams and practical application.