Ultimately saving lives 


Paratroopers from the 2nd Advise and Assist Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division, move a simulated casualty from the casualty collection point to the evacuation point for medical evacuation, during combat lifesaver training at Camp Ramadi, Iraq, June 27, 2011. The 40-hour training course focuses on tactical combat casualty care and in three phases: care under fire, tactical field care, and combat casualty evacuation. (U.S. Army photo by 2nd Lt. Christopher Grill)
Story by Captain Lee Baklarz, 1/325th AIR, 2/82 AAB, Adjutant

RAMADI, IraqThe medical platoon from 1st Battalion, 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment, hosted combat lifesaver training on Camp Ramadi, Iraq, June 27.  The event was open to paratroopers to promote continued training on medical tasks that in the end will save lives.

"Combat lifesaver training provides paratroopers the opportunity to train on skills that will ultimately save lives on the battlefield,” said 2nd Lt. Christopher Grill, medical platoon leader with the battalion. 

The 40-hour training course focuses on tactical combat casualty care in three phases: care under fire, tactical field care, and combat casualty evacuation. 

Training begins with classroom instruction on hemorrhage control, thoracic trauma, and establishing and maintaining an airway.  These techniques are critical for stabilizing wounded troopers and saving lives in combat operations.

Students then experience hands-on demonstrations and practical exercises where they apply what they’ve learned.

"The information and skills taught in this course are important for all paratroopers to learn,” said Spc. Alexis Church, a communications specialist with the battalion. “The techniques were practical and up to date to execute on today's battlefield." 

Senior medics from the battalion additionally held a question and answer session where students inquired about best practices and current tactics, techniques, and procedures used in today’s battlefield environment. 

The final day of training incorporated a 30-question written exam with a skills evaluation trauma exercise lane.  Six students form a combat life saver team with the mission of assisting several injured troopers in a one room, one story building with enemy still located in the area. 

Equipped with Combat Lifesaver bags, warrior aid and litter kits, and a SKEDCO litter system, the CLS team must locate the wounded troopers and provide treatment while under enemy fire. 

The CLS team had to transport causalities to the casualty collection point and a medical evacuation (MEDEVAC) request was prepared.   Once the MEDEVAC was in route, the CLS team transported the wounded team to the evacuation point. 

CLS instructor Sgt. Matthew Townzen reinforced that “CLS trained paratroopers are a valuable asset to any unit.  It allows me as a medic to treat the most severely wounded casualties, and trust that other casualties are still receiving effective medical aid and life saving treatment.” 

A total of 30 students successfully completed the course with a greater knowledge of tactical combat casualty care, and prepared to help save a life when necessary.