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Paratroopers undergo realistic medical training

21 July 2017

Exercise Blue Triage saw 'A' Company, 2nd Battalion The Parachute Regiment practise treating casualties at the point of wounding.

The training in Friday Woods, Colchester saw amputees act as casualties, adding an extra sense of urgency and realism.

A key serial saw patrolling troops come across casualties of a simulated mortar attack on a village. The casualties had to be moved into cover, assessed and given initial treatment, such as applying tourniquets to stop bleeding.

Section commander Corporal Luke Jones, 27 from Wakefield, has deployed on two tours Afghanistan during his nine-year Army career. He said: “Based on my experiences on operations, this is the most realistic medical training I’ve ever had. For junior soldiers to have done this means that, if they deploy on an operation and have to deal with real casualties, it will be less of a shock and they’ll be better prepared.”

Private Neil Graham, 23 from Derby, has been with 2 PARA for five months. “My first reaction to seeing the casualties was bewilderment,” he said.

“The amputees and the simulated injuries made it feel very real, but then the training kicks in and you just get on and do the medical drills you’ve been taught.”

2 PARA medic Sergeant Ben Stewart, 31 from Harlow, organised the exercise. He said: “This is about training soldiers to give lifesaving treatment at the point of injury, so we’re working on stopping catastrophic bleeds and clearing airways.

“Having amputees as casualties is the nearest we can get to replicating real combat injuries. A lot of the junior soldiers won’t ever have seen anything like this and the initial reaction is shock at what’s in front of them. I’ve been impressed with how quickly they all got past that and delivered the treatment in the field that they’ve been taught in the classroom.”

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