Forward Deployed. Forward Engaged.
Official U.S. Marine Corps Website
Photo Information

Marines perform lifesaving steps on a simulated casualty during combat lifesaver training at the III Marine Expeditionary Force Tactical Medical Simulation Center on Camp Hansen March 21. The Marines participated in the course as part of their predeployment training for Operation Enduring Freedom.

Photo by Lance Cpl. Daniel E. Valle

Marines ‘MARCH’ to rescue

30 Mar 2012 | Lance Cpl. Daniel E. Valle Marine Corps Installations Pacific

More than 40 Marines participated in combat lifesaver training at the III Marine Expeditionary Force Tactical Medical Simulation Center on Camp Hansen March 21.

The purpose of the course is to ensure Marines are prepared to perform medical procedures in the event of an emergency while in combat.

“We train individual augments in combat lifesaver and tactical combat casualty care because it saves lives on the battlefield,” said Mark J. Kane, the deputy director for the III MEF Tactical Medical Simulation Center. “They go from not knowing much about this to leaving here with the confidence to be able to perform these tasks successfully — they are doing a great job.”

The Marines are taught to use the acronym ‘MARCH’ which stands for massive hemorrhage, airway, respiration, circulation, head-to-toe assessment and hypothermia to stabilize the casualty until the medical evacuation team arrives, according to Kane.

The acronym serves as a reminder of what to look for and in what order.

“We learn the ‘MARCH’ acronym so we don’t miss anything,” said Lance Cpl. Austin J. Smith, heavy-equipment engineer, Marine Wing Support Squadron 172, Marine Wing Support Group 17, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, III MEF. “This way we can ensure that nothing is missed when treating the casualty.”

The Marines learned how to treat amputees, sucking-chest wounds, electrical, chemical, radiation and thermal burns, how to properly apply a splint, and how to move a casualty correctly, said Sgt. Calvin K. Redhouse, heavy-equipment operator, MWSS-171, 1st MAW.

“We learned how to properly conduct mass-casualty evacuations,” he added. “We were taught to assess the casualties and determine what needed to be done.”

The participating Marines agreed this training is important for anyone deploying into combat.

“The training is important for us because everyone in the class will be deploying to Afghanistan,” said Redhouse. “It gets us ready for whatever could happen.

“A corpsman can only help one Marine at a time,” he said. “If the other Marines at least learn the basics, they can potentially save each other.”

The three-day course consists of two classroom days followed by practical application on the final day.

“The training is extremely effective,” said Redhouse. “I did not know any of this before, and now I know how to check for pulses and what those pulses mean is happening to the casualty, which means we will be able to save someone and hold them off for when the casualty evacuation comes.”

“I really enjoyed the training because it was hands-on,” Smith said. “I am very confident that I can perform these tasks if someone is injured. The instructors did a great job teaching us. It was fun and I would definitely do it again.”