Dave Lassam - First aid combat training

Running time
3 min 30 sec
Date made
Place made

Department of Veterans' Affairs


And the next year before we actually moved, I was flying back again, just over 12 months later, by a week. And, of course, the sad part about that was I had to go and do the training that you have to do before you go overseas, again, a week out. So I had to literally go to another army base and learn how to shoot a rifle again and all the other good stuff but that was okay.

I took two other guys to Army blokes with me and our job was to move or look if we could move the combat first aid, which was done at that time in Kuwait, to UAE. Now how the Americans, we paid the Americans for this, so they all went through it and so we just tagged on, our 10 guys would go in with their 200 sort of thing. And I remember, we got told, or we're gonna go and review what they've got.

Okay, get in the four-wheel drive and off we go, drive out into the desert, and there's one road, black tar, there's sand drifting across it and there's concrete barriers along the side. And that's to stop you driving off the road into a minefield because all the old battle wagons from the first Gulf War were sitting just the blown-up ambulances, trucks, and as I said you just do not get across off the road.

So off we drove into the middle of the, into the desert, and we came across another US Army base, and it was the next level down in comfort and that was so they were getting people ready from going from an air-conditioned area down to a not so air-conditioned area. So you're getting ready to go into battle.

And from there, you'd go over, jump the line back into Iraq. And going into this place was where they did their combat first aid and basically, it was a Nissen hut, which is one of those half huts, you know, but they were covered in a cooling thing, so that they look quite pink in the desert, but they are air conditioned, fully ready to go and inside was this high state of the art first aid training gear and, of course, they had mannequins in various stages of blown uppiness, legs ripped off and really bad stuff and it's above your normal first aid that you see, normally have to do.

And they had a tank sitting up outside and I asked them, I said, "What's that?" and they said, "Oh, that's the blood tank" 10,000 litre tank full of coloured water, which was blood. And these were all electronically controlled. So when you walked in and they started the battle, this is combat first aid. So they had all the sounds going, gunfire helicopters coming in, they turn huge fans on to give you downdraft and the patrols had to fall out, guard the person and then one person would have to do the, blood going everywhere, tourniquets and all that sort of stuff.

And so we sat down, we watched several classes of marines come through and do all that. And so we worked it out. Yes, we still wanted this. How do we get this into UAE? And we spent next couple of weeks sorting that out. Literally, we wrote the contract and that's what happened. We got another American company to come in and doubled up what they did for us. So we had it covered.


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