Marines, sailors acquire precious life-saving skills
OKINAWA, Japan - Life is precious, and Marines and sailors with III Marine Expeditionary Force kept that in mind while taking the basic life-support course at Camp Hansen July 16.
The course taught service members with Marine Wing Support Squadron 172 and 3rd Medical Battalion the proper steps to take if they come across an unconscious individual.
“We taught basic lifesaving skills for cardiac arrest,” said Seaman Michael A. Caballero, the head BLS instructor for the battalion, part of Combat Logistics Regiment 35, 3rd Marine Logistics Group, III MEF. “They learned how to properly compress the chest and give air to an unresponsive victim.”
The service members also learned the differences in providing aid for adults, children and infants.
“There are some differences in resuscitating an adult and an infant,” said Caballero. “The main difference between adults and infants are the rate and depth you perform chest compressions to the victim.”
Some tools the service members learned to utilize while giving aid were pocket masks, bag-mouth masks and automated external defibrillators, according to Seaman Innokenty U. Loon, a student in the course and a corpsman with the battalion.
“The pocket mask gives the ability to provide air to the victim without having the direct mouth-to-mouth contact,” said Loon. “Bag-mouth masks are usually carried by paramedics or used in hospitals, but it is still good for those taking this course to learn how to use it.”
Learning to use a defibrillator is simple, according to Chief Warrant Officer Darryl L. Ellis, an explosive ordnance disposal officer with MWSS-172, Marine Aircraft Group 36, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, III MEF.
“Once it is opened, an automated voice will take you through each step, telling you where to place the pads as well as what buttons you need to press and when,” said Ellis.
Knowing how to operate a defibrillator could be the determining factor in saving someone’s life, according to Loon.
“We try to provide our Marines with as many medical courses as possible,” said Ellis. “We train to respond to any medical situation, which may arise when we are on the scene for explosive threats.”
Everyone should take this course because of the valuable information gained for combat and garrison, according to Ellis.
The course is available to all military and government contractors on Okinawa, according to Caballero. For more information, call 623-7733.