Mannequins help Soldiers learn to save lives
January 27, 2009
CAMP BUEHRING, Kuwait -- The firefight echoed through the tent.
Mortar rounds blast, rifles pepper the enemy with rounds and wounded Soldiers scream in pain. The ground is covered in blood as injured mannequins fight for air.
Soldiers were tending to wounds, while others took turns pulling security. Empty packages that contained tourniquets, gauze and bandages littered the ground, and fellow Soldiers directed others to different injuries.
For Soldiers of Company C, 15th Brigade Support Battalion, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, this simulated life-and-death situation was part of medical training Jan. 18 at Camp Buehring.
"They are going to need this type of training," said Sgt. 1st Class Donna Hunter, a Piscataway, N.J., native who is a Co. C treatment platoon sergeant.
The Soldiers could encounter injuries like amputations, chest wounds, head injuries and bullet wounds on the battlefield. They used mannequins that simulated breathing and bleeding. Soldiers learned how to and then applied tourniquets, cleared airways, checked circulation and treated collapsed lungs using the same medical supplies they carry in their combat life-saver kits.
"It was more realistic," said Magnolia, Ark., native Pfc. Jeffery Otwell, a radio repair specialist.
Otwell said the training was a refresher for what he previously learned.
"You have got to practice and practice to make it permanent in your mind," Hunter said.
The training was not exclusive to medics. Soldiers in various military occupational specialties learned how to save lives on the battlefield when there are no medics.
"It gives them the experience they are going to need if all the medics are tied up," said Sgt. Tamyka Jacobs, a Co. C medic from San Antonio. "This training is essential; it teaches them what to look for when someone is injured."