"Move, move, move!” roars over our heads as we carry a man under enemy fire.
“Can’t you run any f*cking faster!? Two more minutes and he’ll be missing a leg for the rest of his life,” shouts the paramedic officer. He’s following me and my mates as we scurry away from the danger zone to safety.
One second later the whole squad’s dead as somebody steps on a “mine.”
Thankfully, it’s just a drill. I’ve signed up for a Combat Casualty Care course run by the Risk Training Group. The organization is headed up by former Spec Ops officer Yuri Chuprina who took part in military operations in Russia’s North Caucasus.
The main point of this combat course is to teach non-medical personnel how to give emergency first aid and transport the injured person to a hospital.
Providing first aid on the battlefield means forgetting about all the romantic BS we see in action movies. It means not being a hero -
“And remember, if your partner ‘forgot’ to take his bandages or tourniquets [medical arm and footbands used to stop bleeding] with him - it’s his own problem. You should never use your own medical gear to treat his wounds. He was at the medical briefing as well and heard everything about safety measures - so it was his decision to abandon all med gear at the base. Remember, your children aren’t less important than his - they also need their father and mother,” the officer told
So the main idea of the paramedic program (mainly developed by Americans and Israelis due to their enormous battle operation experience) is to be realistic about the circumstances and your possibilities.
Battlefields can generally be divided into three zones - red, yellow, and green. Red means the active combat zone, where you need to crawl to your injured comrade before dragging him to the yellow zone. Any cover, such as a wall, tree, rock, etc can be considered a yellow zone: Literally, any place where you’ll be unsighted and able to take care of his wounds.
The main action of the course happened in these two zones (red and yellow). The green zone symbolizes a military base or military hospital - safe havens where professional doctors go about their business.
Here’s a list of everything that’s needed to prolong your comrade’s life, and to stem bleeding from injured arms or legs:
The course simulates real battle circumstances so each time we have to save a person who’s imitating being shot at, it happens with all the respective bells and whistles. Instructors shoot guns and throw training grenades for effect.
So as I crawl to my mate I hear gunshots and explosions. There he is, lying in the dirt with a “gunshot wound in his leg.” All the hours spent at training simulators fade away. My fingers shake, I struggle to hold things, I can barely hold him in my arms as I crawl back out of the danger zone using him as cover (yes, you are taught to use the injured party as cover - no superman stuff like draping him over your shoulder and running to safety while blowing the enemy away with a bazooka).
Once we get under cover I search his
We even saw internet footage of how soldiers shoot animals through their lungs while they’re still alive so military medics can master treating such wounds.
“It's the ugly truth of the world we live in. Men should be able to work under stress and know how to operate in real battle circumstances,” an instructor told us.
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