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NEWS | June 18, 2024

Pennsylvania Army Guardsmen Complete Combat Lifesaver Course

By Sgt. 1st Class Shane Smith, 55th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, 28th Infantry Division

FORT INDIANTOWN GAP, Pa. - Seventeen U.S. Army Soldiers assigned to the 55th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, Pennsylvania Army National Guard, completed a Combat Lifesaver course during annual training June 18.

Army combat medic specialists provide emergency medical care to injured Soldiers, triaging injuries to save lives and serving as first responders. However, in some cases, the first responder may not always be a certified medic. That's where CLS-trained Soldiers come in.

The 40-hour CLS course prepares nonmedical Soldiers to provide advanced first aid and lifesaving procedures beyond what they learn during basic training. Certified combat medics provide CLS students with classroom and hands-on training. Students take a written exam and complete a culminating exercise involving mock scenarios. Soldiers are certified as CLSs for one year, with recertification required annually.

"During the CLS course we teach students to treat casualties in the proper order, providing care to the most critical injuries first," said Staff Sgt. Jonathan Nicoletti, the primary instructor. "This is done using the acronyms MARCH and PAWS."

MARCH stands for massive hemorrhage, airway, respiration, circulation, and head injury/hypothermia. The acronym helps remember the proper order of treatment. PAWS stands for pain, antibiotics, wounds and splinting, and is used to remember additional casualty care issues. Students trained on each of these topics.

"As long as these CLS Soldiers can recognize medical emergencies, identify various conditions that a patient could be in, and provide the proper order of care based on those conditions, they're doing what we need them to do," said Spc. Addison Straub, assistant instructor.

Thirteen Soldiers assigned to Headquarters Support Company and four Soldiers assigned to the 213th Signal Company, 55th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, completed the course.

"Participating in this course and getting certified as a CLS has definitely made me a better Soldier," said Spc. Jamie Zenker, a human resources specialist. "If there's a medical emergency and there's no one present with the medical expertise to provide care, that could result in a death. Now I'm confident that I can be the one to provide that care that's needed to treat casualties until a medic arrives."



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