UNDISCLOSED LOCATION, Middle East --
U.S. Marines and Sailors with the Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force – Crisis Response – Central Command conducted a Combat Life Savers course while in the Middle East Nov. 6-8, 2017. The purpose of CLS courses is to train Marines on emergency medical treatment in a combat environment.
The course is instructed by corpsmen who provide training in preventative medicine and emergency treatment to ensure the Marines are able to act as first responders if the situation arises.
“We teach the Marines what they need to know to start treatment on a casualty with the acronym MARCH: massive hemorrhage, airway, respiration, circulation, and hyperthermia,” explained Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Zacharie Brice, Combat Logistics Detachment 5, SPMAGTF-CR-CC.
Different interventions to stop hemorrhaging and clear breathing complications are the focus of the class, as these are some of the most common injuries seen on the battlefield.
“Besides teaching the Marines how to treat casualties, we also focus on instilling confidence,” said Brice. “If they are confident in the training, if the time comes when they need to be the first responder their training will kick in and they will know what to do.”
The CLS course takes place once a month to ensure as many Marines as possible are trained to be first responders. As members of a crisis response force, the Marines with SPMAGTF-CR-CC need to be prepared. CLS ensures that in addition to their primary skills the Marines learn how to properly apply tourniquets, apply pressure dressings, and how to give IVs.
“I’ve seen people insert an IV needle backwards or not know how to apply a tourniquet, so it’s imperative that we have CLS courses,” said Brice. “CLS provides Marines with the tools needed to potentially save the life of the Marine to their left and their right so they can get everyone home to their families.”