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Combat Lifesavers Bag
The Role of the Combat Lifesaver (CLS)
The Combat Lifesaver (CLS) is a non-medical soldier trained to provide advanced first aid and lifesaving procedures beyond the level of self-aid or buddy aid. Combat lifesaver training is a bridge between the first aid (self-aid/buddy-aid) training given to all soldiers during basic training and the medical training given to MOS 91W, Health Care Specialist (combat medic).
The CLS is not intended to take the place of medical personnel, but to slow deterioration of a wounded soldier's condition until medical personnel arrive. Functioning as a CLS for the soldier is a secondary mission undertaken only when the tactical situation permits.
Both active duty and Reserve Component personnel are offered a training course at the unit level, held in a group study mode. Students who successfully complete the written and performance tests are certified as Combat Lifesavers. The CLS program was originated by the Army and has been introduced in the other services as well.
Combat Lifesavers Medical Equipment Set
Each certified CLS is issued a CLS aid bag, with nomenclature "Medical Equipment Set Combat Lifesaver" or MES CLS. The aid bag is secured as a sensitive item (like, for example, weapons or night vision devices) at the unit level. The aid bags are issued to the CLS only upon deployment for training or actual operations.
The so-called "M-3 Combat Lifesavers Bag" is the CLS MES with National Stock Number (NSN) 6545-01-254-9551 for the fully assembled kit, or NSN 6545-00-512-9870 for the carrying bag alone. The nomenclature for the bag is "Case #3" and the size is 10 x 4-1/2 x 18 inches.
As a result of advances in trauma management and feedback from users in the field, the Army updated the combat lifesaver bag in 2005. Due to the number and type of changes made to the components, the CLS MES now has a new NSN 6545-01-532-3674 for the assembly.
The NSN for the new bag in the assemblage is 6545-01-537-0686 (bag only, no contents) and the nomenclature is "Bag, TC3, Combat Casualty Care". To avoid confusion with the previous version, the long nomenclature of this CLS bag is listed as “MES Combat Lifesaver Version 2005.” The components were issued in the old carrying bag (NSN 6545-00-912-9870) until the old stock was depleted and fully replaced in the supply system.
Components of Combat Lifesavers Medical Equipment Set NSN 6545-01-532-3674
Where the unit of issue (U/I) specifies a PG (package), the quantity column denotes the number taken from that package for the assemblage. For example, there are 6 pads of isopropyl alcohol from the package in the CLS bag.
Diazepam and atropine are used to offset the effects of chemical agents. Diazepam is a controlled substance and is not issued with the bag until deployment. Atropine is not a controlled substance and the combat lifesaver aid bag is typically issued with atropine. In some cases, the atropine gets removed somewhere in the supply channel before the bag reaches the Combat Lifesaver.
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