Photo Information

A Marine attempts to stop a simulated casualty from bleeding out from an abdominal laceration by applying bandages at Camp Lejeune N.C., March 10, 2016. Improvised explosive devices increase the risk of multiple-casualty situations due to their large area of impact. To prepare for a situation in which a corpsman needs assistance, treating injured Marines quickly, Marines go through the combat life-saver course to be able to provide similar life-saving care that a corpsman would administer. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Luke Hoogendam/Released.)

Photo by Lance Cpl. Luke Hoogendam

Marines and sailors refine life-saving skills

10 Mar 2016 | Lance Cpl. Luke Hoogendam II Marine Expeditionary Force

Marines and sailors from various 2nd Marine Division units honed crucial skills through realistic scenarios during the Combat Life-Saver course conducted by the Division Surgeon’s Office at Camp Lejeune, March 10.

The training was intended to prepare Marines and Navy hospital corpsmen for potential casualty situations and to improve their reaction time in critical situations.

Marines receive combat life-saver training to learn to provide similar life-sustainment care that a hospital corpsman would administer, in the case of an improvised explosive device incident and due to a large impact area, during which a medic may not be readily available.

During the one-day course, Marines and sailors worked with mannequins that simulated real-life casualties by speaking, bleeding from open wounds, and reacting to different treatments.

Before the Marines and sailors proceeded with the scenarios, the course instructors increased the difficulty of the procedures by exerting the participants, simulating exhaustion and fatigue that they would likely during combat.

“The course makes everything feel as realistic as possible,” said Lance Cpl. Christopher Savage, a rifleman with 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment. “I have never experienced a situation where there is actual bleeding, and I have to dress the wound correctly or else the mannequin will continue to bleed.”

This kind of training allows Marines and sailors to reassess essential skills and practice working together to manage a large group of casualties.

“It is essential that Marines and sailors gain medical experience,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Justin Mullins, the leading petty officer of the Division Surgeon’s Office. “In case of a combat emergency, Marines and sailors know how to work together as a team and to manage a multiple casualty scene appropriately.”

“The one thing I took away from this training is to reassess, because you don’t know if you possibly missed something,” Savage said.

He added that complacency in the medical field can mean the difference between life and death in a combat environment.

More Media