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Greenwood firefighters engage in ‘combat casualty’ training

GREENWOOD, Ind-- It’s a term becoming more and more common in the United States: mass casualty or mass injury events.

These dangerous situations often leave many seriously injured or worse. Examples include the Boston Marathon bombing or the Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando.

Firefighters in central Indiana are working to be more prepared for these types of situations.

This week instructors from Verus Security, a company based out of Evansville, are training crews on TC3, or Tactical Combat Casualty Care

“It’s just a different kind of aggressive treatment that can be done in those situations where it’s the unknown,” instructor Ryan Winters said.

The TC3 techniques were developed and are more commonly used on battlefields-- where mass causality and mass injury events are more common. Winter says unfortunately those events are becoming more common in the states too, so training for first responders has become more and more necessary.

“We can teach everybody certain things to save lives in the field so we’re not losing so many guys,” he said.

While the training is geared towards mass casualty/injury events, Winter says there are plenty of “everyday” applications for TC3.

“We’re starting to see a lot of these things even in everyday situations like car accidents, or motorcycle wrecks. I’ve seen several where someone’s put their arm through a window. And now we’re using these techniques to save their lives,” he said.

Two of the key lessons of the training include applying a tourniquet and performing an emergency “Cryke” procedure to clear someone’s airway.

“When we’re waiting we’re losing time, and we know in many of these mass casualty situations that time is costing lives. So now we’re trying to find ways to make sure we can safely transition into immediate rescue with partnerships through law enforcement, emergency medical services, and the fire department,” Wayne Township Fire Department Captain Mike Pruitt said.

According to instructors, this type of TC3 training is becoming so important that  schools and businesses are going through it too.