FORT BENNING, GA - Soldiers with Charlie Company, 2nd Battalion, 54th Infantry Regiment, 198th Infantry Brigade received training on identifying heat-related ailments at Fort Benning, Ga., July 6.
Heat training ensures each Soldier is informed and understands what to look for not only in themselves but in their peers as well.
The key to preventing heat injuries begins by assessing risk during physically demanding tasks while training.
“Heat mitigation training educates Soldiers and cadres alike on the proper identification of heat injury symptoms, how to accurately care for heat-related injuries, and how to mitigate, if not prevent, injuries from occurring during training,” said Capt. Alois Steinbugl, commander, Charlie Company, 2nd Battalion, 54th Infantry Regiment, 198th Infantry Brigade.
According to Steinbugl, there are three types of heat-related injuries: heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
“Heat cramps are the first stage of heat injury and are caused when the body is experiencing a deficit in salt and heat exhaustion is the body’s response to the loss of water and salt due to heavy sweating, while heat stroke is the final and potentially fatal stage of heat injuries and are a result of the body’s temperature-regulating mechanism failing when exposed to extremely high temperatures," said Steinbugl.
“During summer months, [the] cadre prepare[s] ice water immersion tanks of which trainees are mandated to utilize and ice sheets as a precaution to properly treat a heat casualty and adjusts training start times to take advantage of low temperatures,” said Steinbugl.
Understanding hot-weather injuries and how to treat them is beneficial for all Soldiers, given that it can save lives during training, combat, or any event when there is a risk of increased heat.