Situational Awareness and Selecting a Treatment Position

It is essential for a medic to constantly update his situational awareness. The tactical environment is constantly changing and threat levels fluctuate every second. While providing treatment to a casualty is important, never let it overshadow the tactical situation around you. Unless you are in a secure area you must constantly reevaluate threat levels and balance the level of care provided with the current threat.

Selecting a proper position in the CCP or positioning yourself during hasty treatment is an essential part of this task. You should position your casualties in a manner that allows you to make quick visual assessments of potential threat areas or at least provide a visual on your security element (if you have one). Placing a casualty in a corner or along a wall forces the medic into the center of the room. Not only does it limit access to the patient, it puts the medic in an exposed position and makes it difficult for them to evaluate their surroundings. It also increases the occurrence of tunnel vision. It’s easy to lose focus when you can only see one thing. If possible, position casualties in the center of a room, just remember you want to minimize their exposure to open doors and windows just as you want to minimize your own. If the room is large, consider placing them near the walls; however, leave enough space between the casualty and the wall to allow yourself workspace and room to maneuver quickly if necessary.

A dead medic doesn’t save lives. Failure to understand what is occurring around you increases your risk of injury or death. In the demo-video, take note of the manner in which the medic positions himself in the room and how he is constantly checking his threat-areas while providing aid.

Take-away Points:
1. Maintaining situational awareness is as important as treating your casualty
2. Position yourself and your casualty so as to lessen your risks
3. Performing your duties as a medic does not relieve of your tactical responsibilities

2 replies
  1. Andrew Nunn
    Andrew Nunn says:

    This is a really valid issue. In Falujah, my unit was supporting the 1st Marine Division and the marines involved in Phantom Fury were suicidal. I had a mascal that lasted about 2 hours of just Marines. None of my guys got hit, but I was in a house working with 3 Navy corpsmen in a makeshift FAS. We set up an IDME treatment area and worked through all of the guys that were wounded and all of the Haji’s that they dragged back to us.

    With that said, we had some snipers taking pop-shots at us and our casualties through the windows. My scouts were all on the rooftop and no-one thought to have someone pulling security for us.

    I had to learn the hard way, I’m glad there is a place where lessons learned can be compiled.

    Tacmed solutions kicks ass.

  2. starlight_cdn
    starlight_cdn says:

    On the CDN side of the house in A’Stan:

    Siting of the CCP will be up to the Platoon WO or CSM…as a shooter he will be intimately aware of tactical considerations, use of defilade, hard stand, and such. What you will have to ‘remind’ him of is the medical considerations, access/egress, casevac plan, HLZ, and size according to # of cas.

    Excellent video. We are adding a SA/threat scan to our assessment module (ie CABC, Scan, RBS, Scan….) making it part of the business during training makes it ingrained in combat.

    Ideally you will have security with you but as the battle tide ebbs and flows…well..who knows.


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