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050917-M-8489S-001 AR RAMADI, Iraq (September 17, 2005) - Seaman Apprentice Jeremy Trythall, a hospital-man apprentice here, explains the uses of the iodine found in Marines Individual First-Aid Kits during a class at the Hurricane Point chow hall. The class, which was a refresher course for most of the Marines in attendance, was informal and included instruction on the new tourniquet system being handed out to Marines. Photo by Cpl. Shane Suzuki

Photo by Cpl. Shane Suzuki

3/7 corpsmen go back to basics

17 Sep 2005 | Cpl. Shane Suzuki

On the battlefield, the difference between life and death is often very small. Little things like proper first aid skills and administration of ‘buddy aid’ often prove to be the difference between Marines coming home safe or not at all. While Navy corpsmen are usually attached to every unit that goes on a patrol, convoy or raid, sometimes it’s those few precious moments before the corpsmen can make it to the injured Marine that will make the difference. To help Marines understand the importance of these skills and to show them the basics of the new Individual First Aid Kit, two corpsmen from 3rd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment’s battalion aid station recently conducted a class on the IFAK and the new tourniquet system being given to Marines deployed to Iraq. “These classes are pretty important for every person deployed,” said Seaman Apprentice Jeremy Trythall, a hospital-man apprentice here. “We are trying to show everyone exactly how to use their IFAK, just in case something happens.”The class took place in the Camp Hurricane Point chow hall, a camp on the outskirts of Ar Ramadi. The class was informal, and provided plenty of opportunities for the members of the class to ask questions.“They asked a lot about the quick clot agent included in the IFAK,” Trythall said. “They were also interested in the new tourniquet that is being handed out to the Marines here. Overall, I would say the class went very well.”The class started off reviewing basic first aid skills, then emphasized the importance of applying proper first aid skills in a combat environment. Being able to save fellow Marines during combat is just as important as being able to fight and shoot, said the 23-year-old from Raymondville, Mo. The Marines in the class, a mix from Headquarters and Service Company and Company K, all seemed to come away with a little more confidence in their ability to perform first aid under pressure.“The class was good for the Marines here, I think,” said Lance Cpl. Micah Garza, a cook currently assigned to the guard force here. “I know I feel more confident in the IFAK and what to do with it.”Classes like these will be given periodically throughout 3rd Battalion, 7th Marine’s deployment, said Trythall. “It’s important simply because if their buddy is injured and a corpsmen isn’t close by, they need to know what to do,” he said. “Corpsmen aren’t always around and with the proper knowledge, Marines will know what to do and won’t freeze up.”