SELFRIDGE AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Mich. - Aerospace medical technicians with the 127th Medical Group, Michigan Air National Guard, took part in an innovative form of combat lifesaving training during August drill, practicing the battlefield care program replacing self-aid buddy care.
“The Air Force adopted this training to begin to give definitive care to patients early on following a trauma,” said Maj. Patrick Frank, 127th Medical Group medical administrative officer. “They found, through historical evidence, that the earlier patients receive trauma care, the higher their survivability rate will be.”
The tactical combat casualty care training teaches ways to reduce casualties in the field by improving the lifesaving skills of medical and non-medical military personnel.
The training Aug. 15-16 included classroom instruction and a field training exercise to practice applying immediate care on the battlefield. Modules for the 127th Medical Group brought experiences during recent conflicts to life to increase trauma survivability.
“The training scenario was that a bomb had gone off in a building, and it was determined to be a dirty bomb,” Frank said, referring to a conventional explosive containing radiological material. “The medical teams responded, suited up in [mission-oriented protective posture] gear, entered the building, assessed their patients, and were able to get them out and to a casualty collection point.”
To train service members from career fields outside the medical realm, TCCC is offered in three courses. The training at Selfridge was designed for aerospace medical technicians, pararescue and other uniformed medical providers who may deploy to support combat operations.
“We thought that this would be a great opportunity for [our medics] to be in their MOPP gear, go to the front line to get the patients out, and do the lifesaving skills that they need to do to in order to make sure that the patient is safe,” said 1st Lt. Heather Salgat, 127th Medical Group clinical nurse.
Other TCCC course offerings include “combat lifesaver,” designed for non-medical military members deployed to a combat situation, and the “all service member” course for any uniformed service member.
With the successful completion of the TCCC, participating members of the 127th Medical Group are ready to perform the trauma care techniques that can help save more lives.
“We have a lot of new individuals who just joined our unit, and them being involved in this training is exciting and better prepares them for the warfight,” Salgat said. “I am so proud of my team. Everybody jumped into it and did exactly what they needed to do.”