Aviation Soldiers learn life-saving techniques
November 26, 2013
The Second Infantry Division prides itself as being always ready to fight and defend the Republic of Korea at the drop of a dime. In the event that conflict arises, a Soldier's training and expertise will immediately kick in. A grim reality of war and conflict is casualties on the battlefield; but with frequent and thorough training Soldiers can reduce combat deaths and save the lives of their comrades.
The 4th Attack Reconnaissance Squadron, 6th Calvary Regiment along with 3rd General Support Aviation Battalion, 2nd Aviation Regiment conducted a combat life saver's course from Nov. 19 through 21 in the 3-2 GSAB conference room at Camp Humphreys. The course began with classroom-style instruction on how to perform procedures and care for wounded personnel.
After learning the fundamentals, Soldiers had the opportunity to do some hands-on training. The training included different stations of advanced first-aid techniques, that showed Soldiers how to control bleeding, apply pressure dressings and tourniquets, airway management, and assessing and caring for Soldiers under fire.
At the airway management station, Soldiers learned the purpose for, and how to insert, the nasopharyngeal airway tube for casualties needing their airway opened. Insertion of the NPA tube can be very uncomfortable for a conscious casualty.
"I just decided to go ahead and volunteer to get the (NPA) tube inserted, it was so uncomfortable, but I was still able to breathe afterwards," said Pfc. Ryan Brown, of Indianapolis-Carmel, Ind., a CH-47 Chinook helicopter repairer assigned to Company D, 3-2 GSAB.
The NPA tube was just one of the techniques learned. At the nearby litter station, Soldiers were taught how to use a Sked stretcher. Which is a light weight, easily deployed green improvised litter, used to transport wounded personnel. The faster the deployment of litters and securing of casualties, the better chances are for survival. Soldiers at the station were timed on the use of the Sked Stretcher from unpacking to moving the secured casualty.
"I want Soldiers to know that they are vital to treating injured Soldiers," said Sgt. Lorna Aldrich, from Scappoose, Ore., a combat life saver instructor assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 4th ARS, 6th Cav. Regt. Aldrich also said that CLS certified Soldiers are the first medical responder to an injured Warrior.
Aldrich is just one of the medics that taught the training. Teaching combat lifesaving is not only beneficial to those in the course, but also an opportunity for instructors to refine their skills.
Soldiers in the course must pass a written test to be certified. Once certified, they can assist Soldiers needing medical intervention in garrison as well as in combat situations.
Combat life saver training will continue, increasing confidence, and the combat readiness of troops. As the division trains and the threat of real-world chaos looms, the ability to assist and save lives will become muscle memory.
"'Fight Tonight' is not exclusively (the division's) motto, it is a mindset," said Aldrich. "A mindset that is strengthened when Soldiers know that there are a medically trained personnel that will provide life saving measures should the need arise."