McGhee Tyson Air National Guard Base — Over the course of a four-day weekend, nearly 1100 Airman from the 134th Air Refueling Wing received Tactical Combat Casualty Care (TC3) training here.
TC3 is the new Department of Defense-prescribed training requirement to enable any service member in the joint forces to provide life-saving medical aid. Whether it’s used on the battlefield or at home, TC3 was designed to enable people with no other medical knowledge to safely provide the necessary care until the patient can be treated by medical professionals.
“This training evolved from self-aid/buddy care that started in 1996,” explained Lt. Col. Joseph Healy, Deputy Chief Nurse of the 134th Medical Group. “This course takes all the medical skills we were teaching and simplifies it down to controlling bleeding and making sure the individual is
ready to go when a TACEVAC or CASEVAC is ready to take them on to a higher level of care.”
TC3 instructs the trainee to work through an easy-to-remember acronym: MARCH. MARCH stands for Massive Bleeding, Airway, Respiration, Circulation, and Hypothermia. By following the acronym one step at a time, members check victims for mass bleeding and address that by using either a tourniquet, gauze impregnated with a clotting agent, or pressure
bandages. Next, they make sure the patient is breathing easily, verify they have good circulation, and find a way to keep the patient warm to prevent shock. Finally, the care provider fills out a care card specifying the measures they took on the patient along with the time.
“After years of research and studies the main thing we are focusing on is bleeding out. This differs from self-aid/buddy care because it’s more focused on what the priority of the patient will be. If they are bleeding out then focus on mass bleeding, then airway, then breathing,” explained Master Sgt. Travis Pruett. “This will help improve saving lives, a higher percentage of
lives saved over what self-aid/buddy care was.”
The 134th Medical Group conducted four hours of classroom training, followed by four hours of hands-on training to help familiarize members with the steps as well as lifesaving equipment.
TC3 training is required across all five branches of the military. The Tactical Field Care portion is for all service members regardless of medical training, but the TC3 program includes higher tiers of training for deploying members or medical professionals as well.