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24th MEU maintains medical readiness

5 Feb 2019 | Lance Cpl. Camila Melendez 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit

CAMP LEJEUNE, North Carolina – Marines and Sailors with the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit underwent a Tactical Combat Casualty Care course on Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, Feb. 5, 2019.
The TCCC course was a three-day course covering the basics of battlefield care, under fire and in the field, and proper ways to transport casualties to higher levels of care.
“We get the Marines trained on medical skills so that if a mass casualty or battle injury did happen and the patient happened to be the corpsman, our Marines would be knowledgeable enough to render aid and save a life.” said Petty Officer 1st Class Corey Thacker, a corpsman with the 24th MEU.
Marines were guided through a simulated combat scenario where a patrol received enemy fire and casualties. The students used their recently acquired TCCC steps and Individual First Aid Kits to prepare a casualty for transport for advanced medical care.
“What corpsmen do is add time to an injured Marine’s life until a surgeon can evaluate and treat them,” said Senior Chief Petty Officer Fernando Gonzalez, the Navy senior enlisted leader with the 24th MEU. “So any intervention we do just adds time to his life.”
After repeatedly applying tourniquets, stopping simulated bleeding, maintaining airways, and keeping Marines in the fight, TCCC teaches Marines and Sailors muscle memory for casualty care.
“If I put someone in a stressful situation in garrison, [TCCC] better prepares any Sailor or Marine to be part of a stressful situation in combat and that’s the reason we train in garrison,” said Gonzalez. “That way, it’s not a new action when we’re in combat. We already did this in training. We instilled this into their bodies, and their minds, how to perform these lifesaving tasks.”