ROYAL AUSTRALIAN AIR FORCE BASE TINDAL, Australia — As the Marines of Marine All-Weather Fighter Attack Squadron 224, Marine Aircraft Group 12, and Marine Wing Support Squadron 171 continued to conduct operations during exercise Southern Frontier, the safety and well-being of the Marines was the first thing on the minds of the Navy corpsmen supporting them throughout the mission.
Petty Officer Third Class Nicholas Rudy, corpsman with MAG-12, and Seaman Apprentice Jarvis Broom, corpsman with VMFA(AW)-224, coordinated a basic life-saving combat techniques course to inform Marines about proper methods and procedures performed during an injury or mass casualty situation.
“Life or death can be decided in a matter of seconds,” said Broom.
Under the instruction of their unit corpsmen, Marines applied the vital lifesaving skills as part of simulated casualty situations during exercise Southern Frontier at Royal Australian Air Force base Tindal, Australia, Sept. 8.
The corpsmen broke the steps down as they went over the vital processes to saving a casualty’s life, from the moment a service member or corpsman arrives on the scene until the evacuation of the casualty.
Some situations were simulated as if Marines were under live-fire to imitate the urgency of a real combat environment. According to Broom, learning the basics is important when trying to save a Marine’s life in a real combat situation.
“The main objective is to return as many Marines to battle as you can,” said Broom. “Superior firepower is what the Marine Corps believes in.”
Marines brushed up on basic techniques for various situations such as a suckingchest wound, injuries to arms and legs, and casualties not breathing.
The corpsmen demonstrated how to use various operational medical equipment such as a tourniquet and H-bandage.
Marines also practiced how to properly apply the tourniquet and H-bandage on fellow Marines.
“The Tourniquet should be applied as high on the leg or arm of the casualty as possible,” said Broom. “The H-bandage is then applied over the wound to help stop the bleeding.”
The corpsmen also showed the Marines proper rescue breathing techniques.
“All military personnel should practice these steps as much as possible,” said Lance Cpl. Andrew Andrakowicz, aviation information systems specialist with VMFA(AW)-224. “It’s something everyone needs to know to keep us alive every day. If I go down, I’m confident my Marines know the basic steps to keep me alive until a corpsman gets there to help me out.”
Using proper judgment during triage becomes vital when there are mass casualties.
Making the right decisions can mean life or death to the Marines who are injured.
“Some of the basic things you want to do are to find out who’s injured, how many people are injured, what their injuries are and how many people you have to help you,” said Broom. “Then you have to select and prioritize. You have to begin to treat the casualties who need it most. It just takes a little assertiveness and familiarization to know what injuries are life-threatening.”
Heat is also a concern for many of the Marines currently deployed in Australia’s Northern Territory where the daily temperature has risen into the high 90s.
“It was good to go through a bit of a refresher course on how to treat a heat casualty so that if one happens we don’t forget those important steps,” said Andrakowicz. “It’s a higher risk in this type of weather.”
According to Broom, training regularly with the Marines helps to build camaraderie and trust between and within units in the field, during deployment and even back on base.
“Everyone works together,” said Broom. “It’s a very proud job.”
The Navy corpsmen continued to stay engaged throughout the training. By keeping the Marines informed and mission ready, the corpsmen know if they ever go down, the Marines are trained enough to take care of them if they need treatment.
Originally published: Marines.mil