BREMERTON, Wash. (NNS) -- Naval Hospital Bremerton (NHB) Staff Education and Training Department Sailors conducted a highly refined and improved Tactical Combat Casualty Care (TCCC) Nov. 14-18 at Naval Base Kitsap (NBK) Bangor Behavior Health and Education Center (BHEC).
"We're giving deploying corpsmen training in treating traumatic injuries in a combat environment," said Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class (FMF) Bryan Thude, TCCC instructor. "They're being given tools to keep themselves and their patients safer."
TCCC instructors added elements of realism by attending a course in fabricating simulated improvised explosive devices (IED) at Joint Base Fort Lewis-McCord.
"We went down to Fort Lewis for a day class in order to learn how to effectively and safely put together IED simulators," said Thude. "I think it adds to the realism and opens up the students eyes more."
The weeklong training culminated in the 25 students running through a final course simulation that reflected a scenario which might play out in the battle space.
"Now, we incorporate tactical maneuvers and IED simulators. We have new staff members who have returned from battle in Afghanistan who are instructing students on applying techniques learned doing the job while being forward deployed," said Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class (FMF) Andy Chase, TCCC lead instructor.
"The instructors themselves have gone through more training. We've completed the Operational Expeditionary Medical Skills (OEMS) course. In addition, we implemented physical training throughout the course because as a corpsman, you have to be stronger than the ones you have to provide care for."
"It's one of the best TCCC courses I've been to," said Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class (FMF) Brian Brock. "This was more hands-on so you get idea about what you're doing instead of it being verbalized."
During the final scenario, the TCCC instructors emphasized the importance of situational awareness in the battle space and the significance of maintaining communications with those around them.
"We're really trying to teach the students to not only be tenacious but to understand that they have to endure all endeavors to keep that patient alive," said Chase.
"I've never seen explosions at TCCC before which is good since they can really throw you off your game in combat. It's good for people who haven't been over there to get the idea. It was a good experience," said Brock.
"Our goal with this training is to send our deploying corpsmen over into the battle space well prepared and confident in their skills," said Chase.
By that measure, NHB's TCCC instructors have been highly successful judging from the positive reactions of the students after completing the final simulation.
"It's a very good course with seasoned instructors who know what they're talking about. I'm really impressed with how they put it together," said Chief Hospital Corpsman (SW) Gil Garcia who is anticipating his first deployment to Afghanistan with 1st Marine Division in early 2012.
"This training will no doubt come into play with where I'm going and hopefully help me save lives."