KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany Aca,!" It might be the difference between life and death. More than 400 Soldiers from the 21st Theater Sustainment Command are scheduled to be certified or recertified Combat Life Savers between March 16 and June 5.

In addition to the large number of Soldiers receiving the training, the program is unique because it is being taught by a mobile training team from the Pennsylvania Army National GuardAca,!a,,cs Medical Battalion Training Site.

ItAca,!a,,cs not too common to have Guard Soldiers teach active duty Soldiers overseas, especially something as critical as CLS skills. However, Maj. Gen. Yves Fontaine, the 21st TSCAca,!a,,cs commanding general, wants to ensure that all the 21st TSC Soldiers are CLS certified, said Lt. Col. Martin Davis, the assistant chief of staff for National Guard and Reserve Affairs at the 21st TSC.

With that goal in mind, Davis contacted the Office of the Surgeon of the National Guard Bureau to request assistance. He was successful.

Four teams of three medical instructors will each teach three courses for 21st TSC Soldiers in Kaiserslautern, Bamberg, Stuttgart, Baumholder and Grafenwoehr Mondays through Thursdays. On Fridays they will recertify Soldiers who have already taken the CLS training. During the recertification process, the Soldiers have to demonstrate their proficiency in the life-savings skills they have previously gained.

Having the medical training teams on location makes it possible to bring highly-qualified medical instructors right to the Soldiers.

Aca,!A"ItAca,!a,,cs a great opportunity for us to assist in training war-fighting units, especially because the students here are very attentive and appreciate the vital importance of this course. As instructors, itAca,!a,,cs important that we give them the best training we can to make sure they all come back from downrange,Aca,!A? said Sgt. 1st Class Ronald James, a senior medical instructor with the PAARNG and the noncommissioned officer in charge of the CLS training course.

In an environment where minutes and even seconds count, the expertise gleaned during the 40-hour class is critical. Especially since the curriculum was changed to include aid for the three most preventable cases of battlefield deaths, James explained.

Aca,!A"We now teach how to stop bleeding from extremity wounds, how to open an airway and needle/chest decompression for chest injury and tension pneumothorax management. We also teach basic casualty evaluation, how to stabilize fractures and medical evacuation procedures. During the last exercise, students practice inserting intravenous lines into each other,Aca,!A? he said.

The classes are a combination of classroom teaching and hands-on instruction, which the students rate as crucial.

Aca,!A"I wanted to attend a (CLS) course for a while now because I know how important it is. The training really helps. Things are not that hard once you get to practice Aca,!" thatAca,!a,,cs what makes the difference,Aca,!A? said Spc. Heather Thomas, a 21st TSC postal clerk.

Staff Sgt. Justin Reed and Pvt. Inez Tulk, both motor transport operators with the 21st TSCAca,!a,,cs 515th Transportation Company, agreed.

Aca,!A"The practice makes me more confident. Now I know I at least have a chance of making a difference, whether that is giving aid to someone injured in an accident on the Autobahn or during fighting downrange. Kudos to the instructors Aca,!" they are great,Aca,!A? Reed said.

Aca,!A"This is the second time IAca,!a,,cm taking the CLS class, and IAca,!a,,cm learning new techniques. The instructors are very experienced, very patient and precise. The way in which they show you what to do makes things easier and helps you know exactly how to do something,Aca,!A? Tulk said.

James had some compliments to pass around, too.

Aca,!A"We received phenomenal support from the 21st TSC staff, and the students are refreshingly attentive. There isnAca,!a,,ct even a whiff of the animosity that sometimes can mar the interaction between Reserve and active duty Soldiers,Aca,!A? he said.

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16