The Function of a WWII Aid Station

(submitted by Alain Batens)

A WWII “Aid Station” is an installation for first-aid care and treatment of the sick and wounded, established under combat conditions by a Section of the “Medical Detachment” . The Regimental Aid Section and each of the 3 Battalion Sections are equipped to establish and operate an “Aid Station” .

 Desirable features sought in selecting an “Aid Station” site are :

 (1)     Protection from direct enemy fire

(2)     Convenience to troops served

(3)     Economy in litter carry

(4)     Accessibility to supporting medical troops

(5)     Proximity to natural lines of drift of wounded

(6)     Facility of future movement of the Station to front or rear

(7)     Proximity to water

(8)     Protection from the elements

 Especially to be avoided as sites for “Aid Stations” are prominent landmarks, bridges, fords, important road intersections, artillery and heavy weapons positions, ammo dumps, and other distributing points .

 Functions of the “Aid Station” are :

 (1)     Reception and recording of casualties

(2)     Examination and sorting of casualties, and returning the fit to duty

(3)     Dressing or re-dressing of wounded; treatment limited to that necessary to life saving or saving of limbs, and to prepare patients for evacuation for short distances; administration of narcotics and prophylactic sera

(4)     Prophylaxis and shock or exhaustion treatment, with hot foods and drinks

(5)     Temporary shelter of casualties, when practicable

(6)     Transfer at the Aid Station of evacuees to the supporting medical echelon (usually to Ambulances or Litter Bearers of a Collecting Company)

 During a withdrawal, delaying action, or retreat, “Aid Stations” will displace rearward by bounds . Temporary “Aid Stations” are then set up near the avenues of rearward movement . All available transportation is utilized for evacuation of wounded in order to prevent their capture . When wounded must be abandoned, a portion of the “Medical Detachment” with necessary supplies is left with them under protection of the Geneva Convention flag …   

 

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