Army

August 16, 2012

Mass casualty training at NTC provides critical experience for medics

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By Staff Sgt. Joseph Wilbanks

Medics provide treatment for a simulated casualty at the aid station on FOB Denver at the National Training Center after a mock artillery strike Aug. 5

The Soldiers at FOB Denver were hammered with a mock artillery attack which inflicted many simulated casualties on Aug. 5

The attack, which occurred at approximately 9 p.m. and lasted almost 10 minutes, was an unwelcome surprise designed to test the units ability to triage mass casualties.

As the first explosion from the incoming artillery rings out, the Soldiers of the 1st Brigade, 1st Armored Division, “Ready First,” immediately burst into movement.

“Incoming! Incoming! Incoming!,” yelled Sgt. 1st Class Sevrine Banks, first sergeant for CCompany, 501st Brigade Support Battalion, as the artillery simulator continued to explode in rapid succession. Soldiers inside the Charlie Company Tactical Operation Center dove to the floor and covered their heads as they waited for the bombardment to cease.

As the last boom echoed into silence, Banks sent the Soldiers into action. After the all-clear was called, the medics quickly stripped off their vests and helmets and rushed out the door, only to find chaos waiting for them.

Sgt. 1st Class Sevrine Banks, first sergeant for Charlie Company, 501st Brigade Support Battalion, yells instructions to her Soldiers during mass casualty exercise on FOB Denver at the National Training Center Aug. 5

The area taped off for casualty evaluation already had four victims with multiple more in route. Soldiers stood over their comrades yelling for medical help for them while others filled in with more wounded, either carried our transported by humvee. Banks assessed and took control of the situation.

She pushed the litter teams into action to ensure all of the wounded were on a stretcher and ready for transport. She also moved all non-medical personnel out of the triage area to allow the doctors and medics space to evaluate the casualties.

There are four categories of triage; direct, immediate, medical, expectant, said Banks. These decide where the wounded will be taken. Direct and medical can be treated by combat life savers or medics and can be stabilized locally. Immediate is what it sounds like, it requires immediate medical attention to save the person’s life.

A Soldier with Charlie Company, 501st Brigade Support Battalion, “Ready First”, writes down the information of a simulated casualty after a mock artillery strike on FOB Denver at the National Training Center Aug. 5.

As the medics separated casualties into categories, the expectant were moved around the building to were Sgt. Michael Carrington, “Ready First” Brigade Mortuary Affairs, waited.

The exercise continued for a little over an hour before index was called, meaning the simulation was over. The KIAs and wounded got up and made their way back to their units, and the medics performed an after action review to see what went right and what went wrong.




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