CAMP PENDLETON, Calif --
Marines with the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing participated in a combined Tactical Combat Casualty Care and Combat Lifesavers Course aboard Marine Corps Air Station Camp Pendleton, California, June 15 to 17.
The Marines who participated in the course learned a variety of life-saving procedures for emergency situations in a combat environment.
“The training is geared more for combat scenarios and to try to provide initial lifesaving care,” said Petty Officer Second Class Mark Skaggs, the Marine Aircraft Group 39 air medical safety corpsman.
Since 90% of combat-related deaths happen prior to the injured service members reaching a military treatment facility, training Marines with these techniques is crucial, even the Marines who are a part of the Wing, according to Skaggs.
“The class is important, because you may not always have a corpsman or medic around or available to you to treat wounds,” said Skaggs. “What this class provides is a level of training for people who are typically not medically-oriented so they can now at least give that first responder-type care and move the patient to a more secure location.”
Throughout the course, the Marines learned how to apply tourniquets, blood clotting agents, bandages and burn dressings.
“We did scenarios with rescuing people from combat situations,” said Lance Cpl. Tyler Vickers, an MV-22 Osprey aircraft avionics technician with Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 164, 3rd MAW. “We would have to find them, assess their injuries, determine if hostile forces were in the area, and evacuate them to a safe location within a given time. We had to deal with life-threatening injuries on the spot, and then with any secondary injuries when we got them to the [battalion aid station].”
Additionally, the Marines learned to accurately assess the injuries in the scenarios and quickly move their patients using their best judgment.
“You have to have the ability to just react to anything that happens and not second-guess yourself when something does happen,” said Vickers.