That's why at drill recently, the 735th Quartermaster Force Provider Detachment 3 spent several hours going over various combat lifesaver skills and first-aid techniques that could someday prove invaluable, whether it's on the battlefield or at the scene of a car crash.
"The point is to basically train all of our Soldiers in first aid and combat lifesavers," said 1st Lt. Mitchell Kytasaari, detachment commander. "What we're trying to do with this training event is to present the Soldiers with hands-on, real-world type scenarios."
The training fulfills an annual requirement, Kytasaari said. But it's an important task that every Soldier should take seriously.
"It could eventually save a fellow Soldier's life, whether they're deployed or on a state emergency duty," he said.
Soldiers were trained in evaluating a casualty, how to control bleeding, how to treat an open head wound, dealing with fractures and other tasks, where that knowledge could be crucial in certain circumstances. They also trained in treating burns, proper splinting and heat and cold-related injuries.
"We do it every year, and it's a lot of repetition for the guys," said Sgt. 1st Class Jay Moore, a platoon sergeant and full-time readiness technician for the 735th. "But it needs to become second nature so a Soldier doesn't think twice. He just reacts to the situation and uses the knowledge he or she is learning here today."
The Soldiers of the 735th said they understood the importance of the training.
Sgt. Ryan Barker of Jackson, who has been in the Guard for nine years, said he is grateful to know combat lifesaver skills and first aid. He doesn't know if he'll ever need those skills. He hopes not. But if he does, he'll have the knowledge to hopefully be of some use in dicey situations.
"Either way, I'll be glad to know this stuff," Barker said. "Whether I'm trying to help save the life of a fellow Soldier or on the civilian side, it could make a big difference. It's helping me prepare for whatever I may come across. The more training the better - It's helping me build up confidence until it becomes second nature."
Spc. Michael Pagel of Jackson was one of the Soldiers in charge of training. In the civilian world, Pagel is a unit technician at Southeast Missouri Hospital's emergency services department. Pagel is also studying to become a registered nurse.
"These guys need to know this because they're not always going to have a medic along," Pagel said. "This information may help save a life or make a mission more successful. We could lose guys if someone's not properly trained."
For more information about the Missouri National Guard, please call 1-800-GoGuard or visit www.moguard.com.
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