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Lance Corporal Garrett Elting, a mortarman with Weapons Platoon, Company B, 1st Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, looks for a visible vein on Lance Cpl. Daniel Exner, a mortarman with Weapons Plt., Co. B, 1st LAR Bn., during a combat lifesaving class at Combat Outpost Shabu, Sept. 17. “It’s very important for us to know how to apply the IV’s because this is a dangerous place and you never know when you might need the training,” said Elting, a Lincoln, Neb., native.

Photo by Cpl. Eugenio Montanez

LAR Marines practice combat lifesaving

17 Sep 2010 | Cpl. Eugenio Montanez

The importance of saving lives in a combat zone is high in the minds of 1st Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion Marines as they refreshed their skills during a combat lifesaving class at Combat Outpost Shabu, Afghanistan, Sept. 17.

The focus of the corpsmen’s lessons was to review what to do when applying an intravenous infusion to Marines in the field.

“It’s very important for us to know how to apply the IV’s because this is a dangerous place and you never know when you might need the training,” said Lance Cpl. Garrett Elting, a mortarman with Weapons Platoon, Company B, 1st LAR Bn. 

The Marines practiced applying IV’s on each other to get an understanding of what they’ve learned.

“Many Marines out here are qualified combat lifesavers and the ones who aren’t have taken medical classes with me before,” said Seaman Cody Little, a corpsman with Weapons Plt., Co. B, 1st LAR Bn.

The Marines also reviewed the different types of snake and insect bites commonly seen in the area and learned how to treat them.

“The purpose was to educate Marines on the risk of snake bites and how to deal with them,” said Little, a Houston native. “Out here you can never be too careful with what you come across.”

In Afghanistan there are only three types of snakes, and all of them are considered poisonous.

“The Marines know to not mess around with the wild life because anything can be dangerous and hurt you badly,” Little added.

At COP Shabu, Corpsmen conduct combat life saving lessons twice a month to ensure the Marines are prepared for any situation that may arise.

“I want them to be able to handle potentially fatal situations with their head on straight in case I’m not there to help them,” Little said.

The corpsmen instructed Marines on the most common types of injuries seen in a combat zone.

“Out in the field you never know who’s going to need medical attention and if the docs can’t do it, you’re going to need someone that can,” said Elting, a Lincoln, Neb., native.

The Marines are more confident in their abilities to conduct medical treatment if one of their fellow Marines were to need it, explained Elting.

“I think now I’ll be better prepared to apply what I’ve learned because I know what do,” Elting said.