By Sgt. Cesar LeonJanuary 28, 2017
CAMP ARIFJAN, KUWAIT- When a medical emergency occurs on the battlefield, Army medics play a vital role in providing care to the wounded. There are, however, situations when a certified medic is not available. The Combat Life Saver (CLS) program is designed to help bridge that gap.
"Being a combat life saver is looked at as being a force multiplier. Most units will have one platoon medic, and depending on the size of the platoon, you may have one medical personnel for every 25 to 30 non-medical personnel," said Staff Sgt. Kyle D. Lane, a CLS Instructor assigned to Area Support Group - Kuwait.
"That is a lot of people for one person to treat. By using the combat life saver program, you basically multiply your medical personnel, by hopefully everyone in the platoon, so they can perform the most basic lifesaving intervention, and hopefully decrease the amount of deaths on the battlefield," Lane continued.
The course consists of a combination of classroom instruction and hands-on training given by a certified medic. On the last day of the course students are required to take a written exam on all the training they have learned throughout the course.
Soldiers are trained in combat first responder techniques such as: application of a tourniquet while under fire, full medical assessment, treating various types of life threatening injuries, treating for shock and hypothermia, packaging a casualty for evacuation by either ground or air transport, casualty reporting procedures, calling in a nine line medical evacuation request over the radio and casualty movement techniques using both commercial and improvised litters.
"I especially appreciated Staff Sgt. Lane, he is a combat medic with real combat experience. So he shared his life experience with us, being with the infantry and how he was caring for the wounded. So that experience made the class more applicable for us," said Capt. Jesse Fu, with the 369th Sustainment Brigade.
"We learned not just what the textbook answer is, but also how medics or CLS Soldiers are supposed to act in the time of war," said Fu.
This CLS course serves as a refresher for the CLS class given to all Soldiers during basic training. The Army is continually making changes, updates and improvements to the CLS course, so it may be beneficial for those who have taken it previously to take it again.
"I went through CLS a long time ago, but at this training there was new material. There were things that were taken out, things were added or modified from what I learned in the previous class," said Fu.
Lane says he fully believes in the combat life saver program and thinks it is one of the better forms of Army training available. He says it is important for as many Soldiers as possible to have this basic knowledge of medical aid, especially considering the past ten-plus years of war.
"We try to get the word out to try to get as many units throughout the area of responsibility as we can to come in and get the training, and hopefully get 100 percent of their unit trained," said Lane.