FORT POLK, La. –— Combat medics from Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 317th Brigade Engineer Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, trained 12 Soldiers on tactical combat casualty care during combat lifesaver training, June 22 – 26.
“Today is all about raising their stress levels and bringing them back to the fundamentals of CLS training,” said Sgt. Kevin M. Perry, one of the class instructors and an 11-year combat medic assigned to HHC, 317th BEB.
Over the course of a week, three medics took turns giving classroom instruction on basic human anatomy and patient care and then administered a written test.
“If you look at our battalion, there is roughly 700 people but only a handful of us are medics,” Perry said. “It is really important for the Soldiers on the line to be able to assess and perform life saving measures before they are able to bring the causalities to us.”
On the final day of testing, Soldiers are required to treat at least one casualty during the simulated traumatic injury training exercise.
Perry and his team evaluated the trainees on how well they were able to maintain life without causing further injury to the patient.
“The training can be tough at times, but it is a good mixture between classroom and hands-on training,” said Pvt. 1st Christian A. Collins, a signals intelligence analyst assigned to 317th BEB, after completing the training.
The three major tasks Soldiers must perform successfully during CLS training are stopping bleeding; opening and maintaining an airway; and relieving a tension pneumothorax.
“Those are the main things people die from on the battlefield,” explained Perry.
Individuals who unsuccessfully treated the first patient are given a second chance at testing on another casualty.
When reflecting on the training, Collins expressed gratitude that the instructors took the time to properly train Soldiers on their role as first responders.
“This was useful and good training,” Collins said. “It makes me better prepared to handle emergency situations in a combat environment.”