Corpsmen perfect lifesaving steps

by Pfc. Donald T. Peterson
Okinawa Marine Staff

CAMP FOSTER—Twenty-six corpsmen with various units within the III Marine Expeditionary Force participated in a forward resuscitative care course Jan. 27-30 at the Simulated Trauma Advanced Training Center on Camp Foster.

“The purpose of the course is to familiarize medical personnel in the functional areas of collecting, clearing, treating, holding and evacuation of casualties,” said Petty Officer 3rd Class Brendan Tran, the lead instructor for the STAT Center. “This is done at the (second echelon of care, which is) the next step above tactical combat casualty care. It’s where personnel use the primary and secondary survey to care for patients with life-threatening injuries.”
The four-day course started and ended with a simulated, mass-casualty event, to test the corpsmen’s skill development during the course.

“With people from different backgrounds of work, such as the hospital (corpsman) or a (field) corpsman who has been to combat, (we have people who) all respond differently to a mass casualty,” said Tran. “By doing the first (event), we can see where the corpsmen need to improve throughout the course ensuring they are fully ready. The second is for the (students) to see their improvements, as well as the new skills they gained from the course.”

The course is also designed to bring corpsmen together and teach them how to work as a team.

“We’re not as worried about the medical aspect as much as teaching them how to work well as a team,” said Petty Officer 3rd Class Aaron W. Cross, a corpsman and instructor at the STAT Center. “It’s important for the corpsmen to know how to work as a team, or take charge of a team, to help get casualties the treatment they need. When they’re downrange, they could be with other corpsmen they’ve never met before and have to learn to use each other’s skills to help save someone’s life.”

The course is available for all service branches to participate in with hopes that this training will lay a foundation for successful, future working relationships.

“We try to train as many Marines, airmen, soldiers and sailors as possible,” said Tran. “This helps set a single standard across the board. By training them all, they will all work under the same procedures and do the job the same way when they go downrange. So if something happens, we can get help from our counterparts.”

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