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U.S. Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Timothy Pryor, a hospital corpsman with the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, demonstrates proper tourniquet use during a Combat Lifesaver Course aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) Oct. 22, 2016. Marines taking the course learn basic lifesaving skills to respond to critical situations. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Samantha Villarreal)

Photo by Cpl. Samantha Villarreal

31st MEU Marines learn lifesaving skills

26 Oct 2016 | Cpl. Samantha Villarreal 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit

During the two-day course, Marines from across the 31st MEU learned emergency medical response techniques to respond to casualty situations, according to Petty Officer 2nd Class Mark Watts, a hospital corpsman and course instructor with Combat Logistics Battalion 31, 31st MEU.

“CLS gives Marines basic hands on certification for the three major preventable causes of death on the battlefield; mass hemorage, airway obstruction and collapsed lung,” said Watts. “It prepares Marines to become first responders, should the need arise.”

The course consists of one day of in-class instruction and one day of hands-on training. Marines are separated into three groups dedicated to testing Marines on casualty assessment, IV administration and body splinting.
The CLS students practiced injury assessment, response to mock injuries and scenarios given by the instructors. During IV administration, Marines were led through the insertion process before practicing on their own.
“Marines learn how to insert an IV, how to maintain an airway in cases that CPR is not feasible in the battlefield, and how to apply a tourniquet,” said Watts.
The scenario-based training helped prepare Marines to respond quickly and efficiently to potential casualty situations.

“It’s a confidence booster,” said Sgt. Daniel Moreno Espinoza, a maintenance chief with CLB-31, 31st MEU. “No matter how many precautions are taken, during training or in combat, there is a possibility someone’s going to get hurt. Having combat lifesavers guarantee a quick response.”           

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31st Marine Expeditionary Unit