By Maj. Chris C. Corrie, 64th MDVSS, Detachment Clinical SpecialistApril 6, 2017
WIESBADEN, Germany -- The 64th Medical Detachment Veterinary Support Services and Dog Center Europe combined forces in support of the International Combat Life Savers Course at Clay Kaserne, Feb. 1-3.
Maj. Chris Corrie from the 64th MDVSS and Sgt. 1st Class Elizabeth Marroquin from the DCE participated in this regularly-held international course attended by more than 80 medical personnel representing six nations.
Students were from military and civilian sectors including law enforcement officers across Germany with military medics and Soldiers from Finland, the Czech Republic, and the United States. The course was hosted by the Office of the Command Surgeon of U.S. Army Europe, and covered the Tactical Combat Casualty Care syllabus in a concentrated 3-day course, approved and validated by the NATO Centre for Medical Excellence. The aim of the course was to provide the participants the required working knowledge and skills to administer immediate medical aid to themselves, other injured persons, and Military Working Dogs in a hostile threat environment.
The course encompassed didactic classroom instruction and a significantly larger portion of practical hands-on training which included the use of an engagement skills trainer weapons simulator, rollover simulator, UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters, Multiple Amputation Trauma Trainer human mannequins, and HERO, a full body MWD medical training mannequin.
HERO is a K-9 simulator designed by TraumaFX in partnership with the Department of Defense and constructed to mimic a Belgian Malinois which allows critical life-saving task simulation. The mannequin weighs 50 pounds and has many special features, some of which can be modified using a remote control including an adjustable pulse, bleeding trauma sites, an airway for endotracheal tube placement, an IV training site with flash feedback, a chest that rises and falls with ventilation, a needle decompression site, and a tracheostomy simulator with a multi-layered tissue insert.
The ICLS course is taught in English with assistance from course instructors who speak Czech and German, with its main focus being the fundamental principles of Tactical Combat Casualty Care. Tim Cranton, is a retired British Army combat medic and the lead instructor for the course.
"The purpose of the 'International Combat Lifesaver Course' is two-fold," he said. "One, we aim to bring together NATO partners to share ideas and experience in order to forge better relationships with those allies that we may work alongside anywhere in the world at any time and two, we aim to standardize battlefield medicine so that all allies know and understand how each other works as well as sharing a common approach to the care and treatment of any injured persons and Military Working Dogs."
The ICLS course begins on a Wednesday and quickly increases its training intensity through Friday, culminating on the last day with a field exercise at a local training facility that simulates a small town in a war zone. The students and some instructors are issued blank-loaded M4 carbines and M9 pistols with the instructors playing the roles of victims and combatants. Mannequins, along with live MWDs and handlers, are utilized to simulate potential real tactical scenarios in mass casualty, lone casualty, and joint human and canine casualty simulations.
The sounds of explosions, screaming pleas for help, and radio calls by medics for wounded soldier and canine transport can be heard while designated groups of students, that have been purposely created with a mix of nationalities, rotate in a fast paced and timed "round-robin" style through the scenarios located on open ground and within the town's variety of buildings and houses. The exercise is meant to be very demanding and even nerve-wracking for the students who are sometimes pushed to their limits,
"In the long term, this can only be of benefit to our patients, man and dog," Cranton said. "By ensuring timely lifesaving interventions and evacuation to definitive care at the earliest opportunity with the ability to maintain life support where evacuation could be delayed,"
The is also about the military to military and civilian law enforcement connections that strengthen regional understanding, cooperation, and partnerships,
"The course is a huge relationships exercise as well as being able to teach battlefield medicine at the same time," Cranton said.
The next ICLS course will be May 1-5 in Wiesbaden, Germany. For more information, contact Staff Sgt. Justin Stoltz at firstname.lastname@example.org, DSN: 314-537-0067 or go to "The Dragon's Lair" Facebook page: facebook.com/ViperPitCLS.