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News | Oct. 18, 2023

TCCC Training: Driving the State of Readiness at Naval Station Hospital Jacksonville

By Kieshia Savage

“Hostile fire! Hostile fire!” were the words shouted as the simulated bombastic sounds of gunfire and Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) roared across the open training field during Tactical Combat Casualty Care (TCCC) training for Naval Hospital Jacksonville.

TCCC training is held twice per month and is facilitated by Staff Education and Training (SEAT) personnel as a refresher course for active duty and reservists in the medical field. This simulation shows them how to treat a patient that was harmed during a deployment or hostile-fire situation. Corpsmen are required to take this course every two years. Lt. Bree Moses, nurse midwife at Naval Hospital Jacksonville said, “I think this training provides a realistic exposure to individuals who’ve never been in combat and experienced real-life situations.”

The simulation is broken-up into sections. “The course prepares them for combat and war readiness. The training starts with a PT portion. Then, simulation starts with moving across a patrol zone which leads up to the ‘kill zone’, also known as ‘Zone X’,” said HM2 Derek Haas, SEAT trainer. “The next station is the casualty collection point where first contact with the dummies (casualties) is made and immediate life-saving measures are conducted. The dummies are then quickly dragged out of open fire into the casualty clearing stations for further urgent medical attention and observation while preparing them for a simulated air lift. After quickly being stabilized or placed in a cadaver bag, the casualties are secured to a stretcher and carried to an open field where the assumed air lift rescue occurs. The training is then finalized with a debrief,” said Haas.

The onsite SEAT trainers guide trainees every step of the way. “SEAT staff are amazing - they are experienced, and they know their stuff! This is a very challenging field but it’s excellent. Everyone should go through this – corpsmen and officers,” said Lt. Cmdr. Nard Heywood, Naval Hospital Jacksonville Inpatient Behavior Health Clinic department head.

It is with medical mannequins known as “manikins” and high-quality medical task trainers that trainees are more effectively able to exercise their real-world and emergency medical knowledge. Task trainers are lifelike specialized simulated models of the human anatomy used to provide simulated training aids to medical staff. Models and styles vary for a multitude of situations. “The trainers used for TCCC can simulate breathing and gunshot wounds to the face, chest, or leg with the ability to bleed out. The manikins have battle injuries like a collapsed lung or a broken tibia which would require the medic to place a stabilized device in preparation for the patient to be transported to a higher echelon of care” said Alescia Stephens, simulation operator at SEAT. Because task trainers are electric, they allow trainee applications to be tracked and recorded. This information is later reviewed.

Both female and male manikins and task trainers are used during trainings, and they range in weight between 180 pounds and 210 pounds. “The manikins and task trainers are real-life weight. They really prepare you for physical readiness," said Heywood.
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