NEWS | Feb. 10, 2015

841st Transportation Battalion hosts first joint Combat Lifesaver Course

By Senior Airman Jared Trimarchi 628th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

When a service member is wounded behind enemy lines during a firefight, a combat medic might not be near to immediately treat the wounds. Luckily for the wounded service member, their battle buddy, a Combat Lifesaver Course graduate, rushes in to treat the injuries and get them out of harm's way.

The Army Combat Lifesaver Course, or CLS, is a program designed to train nonmedical Soldiers on how to provide emergency care as a secondary mission on the battlefield.

The 841st Transportation Battalion at Joint Base Charleston S.C., hosted the first joint Combat Lifesaver Course Jan. 20 - 23, 2015, on the installation to reinforce relations between the many units stationed here.

"As an annual requirement, Soldiers belonging to the 841st TB are certified, and through a collaborative effort between the different units around the base, we were able to certify and re-certify 55 Soldiers, Airmen, Sailors and Department of Defense civilian personnel," said Sgt. 1st Class Clifton Mack, 841st TB terminal operations NCO in charge.

The course was led by four Army CLS instructors from Fort Jackson, S.C., and totaled 40 hours of classroom and hands-on training.

"The instructors did a tremendous job by adding scenarios such as treating a victim of an IED, gun shot, burn or laceration, much like the injuries commonly associated with combat," Mack said. "The instructors ensured the scenarios were stressful and even added simulated gun fire to get your adrenaline pumping."

According to Mack, one of the course's strong points was its incorporation of robotic mannequins.

"These mannequins are almost life-like," Mack said. "They can move and even simulate bleeding ... it makes the training much more realistic."

According to Army Lt. Col. Brian Memoli, 841st TB commander who is also combat lifesaver certified, CLS can enhance a service member's skills on the battlefield and at their home unit.

"This training is being used on a daily basis to save lives out on the battlefield, and it's also a great asset to have especially in the 841st TB where we deal with heavy equipment such as tanks and helicopters," Memoli said. "An emergency which requires immediate medical care can happen anywhere at any time and we want to provide our service members with the best training possible to save lives."

Last year 24 people attended the course and thanks to the innovative thinking of the members in the 841st TB, units around the installation now have combat lifesavers beside them.

"The joint course was a tremendous success and speaks great volume of the joint environment the separate units on the base foster," Memoli said. "We look forward to continuing to provide joint training ... HOOAH!"