The Central Texas chapter of the Military Officers Association of America hosted a genuine hero of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attack during its monthly meeting Friday at the Shilo Inn in Killeen.
Retired U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Paul K. Carlton Jr., who served as the surgeon general of the Air Force during the attack, was awarded the Airman’s Medal for Heroism for his actions in saving lives at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.
Carlton never mentioned this important fact, however, dedicating his speech in Killeen to how the current combat casualty care used to save so many lives over the course of 15 years of war in Iraq and Afghanistan can translate to saving lives in the civilian sector.
“Should we bring the lessons learned (over 15 years of war) home? Absolutely. The goal should be zero percent avoidable deaths,” Carlton said. “How do we get there?”
Tactical combat casualty care redefined the way casualties were treated in a combat zone, moving life-saving surgical care closer to the battlefields and providing the combat medics and corpsmen with the troops a greater level of training, he said. It also involved training individual troops as combat life savers, which included advanced first aid techniques such as preventing blood loss and immediate treatment for collapsed lungs.
Carlton said he believes one way to translate those techniques to all Americans is through free classes, similar to the push to train everyone in CPR first started in the 1970s, called “Stop the Bleed.” And on the heels of the tragic shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, on Wednesday, the need is greater than ever.
“That would enable you to extend the ‘golden hour’ to all people, not just first responders,” Carlton said.
The class would teach topics such as how to find the site of bleeding and then applying a tourniquet to stop bleeding. To find out where and when the next training classes will be available, visit stopthebleedtx.org.