TERNATE, Philippines --
Corpsmen with Health Service Support Platoon, Combat Logistics Battalion 31, 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, established a shock trauma platoon center here, Sept. 31.
It is an emergency care facility – or ER – in the field environment, supporting units training at Ternate such as Force Recon Platoon and Company L, Battalion Landing Team 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines, both with the 31st MEU.
STP provides advance trauma life support, increasing the patient’s chance of survival from the point of injury. It has the ability to resuscitate and stabilize the patient before they have to be transferred to a hospital for further care.
“The STP is capable of treating patients better than a (Battalion Aid Station), providing a higher echelon of care than a first responder,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Wilson Rodriguez, a corpsman with CLB 31, 31st MEU, and a native of Cleveland, Ohio. “When you look at field care, there’s a golden hour where if a (service member) is injured at a high risk training area, they need to be treated and cared for as soon as possible.”
The corpsmen with the STP can open airways, perform minor surgeries and treat heat injuries, to name but a few. The platoon can treat six patients at a time with equipment like ventilators, suction machines, echocardiograms, and more.
“These instruments are also included during en route care, too,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Daniel Ollis, a corpsman with CLB-31, 31st MEU, and a native of Cambridge City, Indiana. “If we have a casualty we have to medically evacuate, these instruments can maintain vital signs and produce oxygen for the patient while the nurse is getting them moved.”
For some of the corpsmen, the STP’s capabilities and equipment are new, but they quickly learn what it has to offer to the Marines, according to Rodriguez.
“The corpsmen have been working very hard to set all this up,” said Rodriguez. “We were able to set up the tents and get the equipment to work and learn about each and every piece of the STP while establishing it.”
The majority of the training areas at Ternate are on the beach close to the STP, so an injured Marine can receive care within minutes. Without a nearby STP, it can take an hour – or longer – to transfer a Marine or sailor to a medical facility from some of the remote training locations throughout the Philippines.
“As Marines, we have so much gear we have to carry, so we won’t have a defibrillator or resuscitator [with us] if someone gets hurt,” said Lance Cpl. Kenneth Cook, an infantryman with BLT 3/5, 31st MEU, and a native of Riverton, Utah. “It’s cool that the corpsmen have this set up for us while we train. It should be a standard for any MEU. It’s good to know the corpsmen have our backs.”
PHIBLEX 15 is an annual, bilateral training exercise conducted by members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines alongside U.S Marine and Navy forces focused on strengthening the partnership and relationships between the two nations across a range of military operations including disaster relief and complex expeditionary operations.