MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. -- “Nine-line received and patients enroute,” yells a corpsman. Immediately, several others prepare the medical tent to tend to the injuries of fellow service members on their way to be treated for notional injuries.
Sailors with 2nd Medical Battalion conducted Shock Trauma Squad training at Camp Lejeune North Carolina, Jan. 28, in preparation for an upcoming exercise, -Cold Response 16.1, in Norway, March of this year.
“We are getting the Norway personnel ready to deploy,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Christina Erickson, a training corpsman with the battalion. “These sailors just got back from cold weather training in Bridgeport, Calif. and we are getting ready to deploy as a STS.”
An STS is a small version of a medical platoon that has been scaled to size to meet the requirements for the upcoming exercise.
Role-players were dressed-up with fake injuries and sailors had to perform their duties as they would in a real-life scenario. The sailors started the exercise with injured patients flying in on a notional helicopter. The corpsmen assessed and treated every patient in a designated medical tent, as they would for a real-life injury.
“We are going to be in extremely cold weather,” Erickson said. “So we have these role-players’ injuries geared to those types of injuries, such as snow blindness, high-altitude injuries, hypothermia and frostbite.”
Another key reason for conducting this training is to make sure these sailors are capable of handling any situation that may arise with the equipment supplied.
“A big part of this training is to make sure [the sailors] know how to use the equipment, and how to set it up,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Brennon Brown, a combat management instructor with the battalion. “Medical training is continuous for us, but making sure they know how to use the equipment properly is equally as important.”
As the sailors worked, they were being evaluated on the methods they used. After each scenario the corpsmen were debriefed and had to explain what they found on the patient, how they treated them and why.
“So far the corpsmen are doing very well,” Erickson said. “Some of these [sailors] have done this stuff before, but for some this is the first time they are experiencing treating these types of injuries. They are learning fast and showing they have what it takes to complete the mission in Norway.”