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Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Corpsmen save crash victims

Sgt. Major. Robert H. Brown Jr., left, congratulates Petty Officer 1st Class Louis Bismonte, right, after Bismonte was awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal on Camp Delaram II, Afghanistan March 28. Brown is the sergeant major for CLB-4, 1st Marine Logistics Group (Forward), RCT-6. Bismonte is a hospital corpsman with CLB-4.

4/6/2012  By Cpl. Mark W. Stroud  , Marine Corps Bases Japan 

CAMP DELARAM II, Afghanistan  — Two corpsmen were recognized for saving the lives of mass-casualty victims during a ceremony here March 28.Petty Officer 1st Class Louis Bismonte and Petty Officer 2nd Class Frederick B. Ehlers were awarded Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals for their life-saving actions March 25, when a traffic accident turned into a mass-casualty situation.Both Bismonte and Ehlers are hospital corpsman supporting combat operations in Afganistan with Embedded Partner Team, Combat Logistics Battalion 4, currently attached to 1st Marine Logistics Group (Forward), Regimental Combat Team 6.

“(Corpsmen) are never off duty,” said Chief Petty Officer Charles R. Schaefer, medical chief with CLB-4. “We all have to be ready at any time.”

The two hospital corpsmen were relaxing in their sleeping quarters when EPT interpreters knocked on their door, telling the sailors to grab their medical supplies and come to the Afghan National Army medical tent, according to Ehlers.

“When we got to the tent, the first casualties had already been brought in,” said Ehlers. “(The ANA) were making trips back and forth from the accident site, bringing back groups of the injured.”

A civilian Afghan bus had crashed near the camp’s entry control point resulting in 28 casualties, including the death of five Afghan civilians.

“We were working with the ANA medics to provide the first level of care,” said Ehlers. “If (the casualties) needed a higher level of care, we sent them to the (Shock-Trauma Platoon).”

The sailors had previous experience instructing ANA medical personnel with the 5th Kandak, 2nd Brigade, 215th Corps, in battlefield medical care, but had not worked with Afghan medics in an operational environment until the March 25 mass casualty, according to Ehlers.

“We are here to train the trainers,” said Ehlers. “These ANA medics who go to our courses will be able to go back to their units and teach others.”

The ANA medics from the corpsmen’s most recent four-week course graduated March 17 and had already left Delaram II to assume their duties at different units throughout the ANA when the mass-casualty event occurred.

The Afghan medical personnel working to treat the injured civilians were not former students of the EPT corpsmen.

“Like any mass-casualty event, it was very chaotic but the (ANA) did well,” said Bismonte.

The rapid and professional conduct of the corpsmen in responding to the mass-casualty event directly led to the survival of casualties, according to Schaefer.

“I saw the bus … and it was near totally destroyed,” said Schaefer. “(The bus) looked like it had been bent in half … if it were not for our corpsmen, there would have been more killed.”


One Response to “Corpsmen save crash victims”
  1. Vanderley says:

    Doc Bizzz.  He was my first senior HM in 2/7 Golf Co in 2001.