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Missouri National Guardsmen refresh on first aid and soldier care at drill
Missouri National Guardsmen refresh on first aid and soldier care at drill

From left, Pfcs. Adam Brumble and David Eley, and Spc. Scott Darby, all of the 35th Engineer Brigade, use a first aid dummy to simulate treating wounds to extremities during their drill weekend.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (Oct. 7, 2009) — Members of Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 35th Engineer Brigade worked on several different Army Warrior tasks in the field Saturday at their monthly Missouri National Guard drill.

Spc. Scott Darby, of Waynesville, and Pfc. David Eley, of Springfield, both saw the exercise as a refresher after recently completing their Combat Lifesaver Course.

“This is an opportunity to help out those who are not Combat Lifesaver Course certified,” Darby said.

“We are pretty much touching base on everything,” Eley added. “We’re getting to keep up on the training, so that way we actually retain some of the information we learn.”

Sgt. 1st Class Michael Doty, the unit’s readiness and training noncommissioned officer, said the focus of the four-station exercise was first aid and soldier care.

“This is annual training that is required of every soldier,” he said. “It’s a lot of basic soldier tasks that everybody needs to know. If they are out on their own and don’t have their leadership around them, it’s good for every person to know. That way if someone who is in charge does go down, someone else can step up and take care of basic first aid until you can transport the injured troop to safety.”

Soldiers learned how to treat head wounds, open chest wounds, bleeding from the extremities and abdominal injuries, as well as casualty evaluation.

One other area the Guardsmen worked on was requesting 9-line medical evacuation.

“It’s basically all of the information that is required of you to call in a helicopter to evacuate an injured soldier,” Doty said.

Doty’s hope is that the training will help his soldiers build confidence.

“They know this information — this stuff is taught to them from basic training on,” he said. “What we do out here is primarily refresher training.”

At the open-chest wound and wounds to extremities station, Darby said soldiers worked on applying a Combat Action Tourniquet and the Israeli Bandage in case they some day need to use them.

“As great as our medics are, they can’t be everywhere at once,” Darby said. “If you get into a bad situation and your medic is two minutes away, that may be two minutes too late.”

For a citizen-soldier, Eley said the training is not only beneficial in a combat zone, but also a civilian setting.

“That way if you happen to be the first one on scene before an EMT can get there, you can maybe save somebody’s life,” Eley said.

Staff Sgt. Dennis Chambers, of Nixa, was at the casualty evaluation station.

“We are primarily learning what the Army standard is when we come across an injured individual and how to identify what injuries that person has,” he said. “It’s basically like triage in an emergency room.”

Chambers said soldiers start by checking the ABCs — airway, breathing and circulation — in that order.

At the station, Chambers said the most important thing he learned is clarification on when a soldier who is certified in the Combat Lifesaver Course can and can’t give intravenous therapy.

“In the garrison environment, we can not, but while deployed, we can,” he said. “That was a recent change that happened this year.”

The exercise, Chambers said, should give soldiers the information he wants them all to know, especially the ones around him.

“In the simplest terms, this is what keeps us living and brings us home,” he said. “The worst thing I could have is to have an injury and the troops around me not know how to take care of that.”

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