US-based marines and sailors with 8th Engineer Support Battalion (ESB), 2nd Marine Logistics Group (MLG) underwent tactical combat casualty care (TCCC) training to give them the skills to save lives by enabling them to quickly treat the wounded on a battlefield.
The National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians claimed that ‘almost 90 per cent of American service members who die from combat wounds do so before they arrive at a medical treatment facility.’ The marines and sailors attended TCCC training at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina on 30 Jan in hopes of drastically decreasing this statistic by enhancing the working relationship between young marines and corpsman – increasing the speed and skills of medics dealing with the wounded, saving lives.
“This is vitally important,” said Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Benjamin Bartkowski, a Navy Corpsman with 8th ESB. “If they go out and do this for the first time in combat, they would make mistakes. I would rather have them discover their faults here than in real life.”
The programme had the Marines role play as wounded casualties, with injuries such as gunshot wounds and fractured bones, whilst corpsmen practiced stabilising them in the combat environment. Treated casualties were then transported to CH-53E Super Stallion helicopters for evacuation to a simulated higher level of care.
Gunnery Sergeant Andrew Brannen, a Combat Engineer with 8th ESB, said: “I expected the Marines to learn the feeling of what it’s like to see a casualty on the ground and to know that that’s a fellow Marine that they need to help.”