Canadian Medics Mentor Lifesaving Techniques

By Sgt S

Canadian Medical Technicians (Med Tech) on Operation UNIFIER work in the unique and challenging role of providing mentorship to instructors of the Ukrainian Armed Forces Combat First Aid (CFA) program. While in Canada, it is common for Med Techs to instruct and provide guidance for such training.  At the International Peace and Security Centre in western Ukraine, Canadian medics, along with their American counterparts, must put aside previous knowledge of how courses such as CFA are run back home, and adapt to the Ukrainian doctrine and standard operating procedure.

In the most recent CFA course to come through IPSC, the Canadian and American Line of Effort (LoE) 5 (Medical Training) staff mentored and provided logistical support to staff of the Ukrainian Combat Training Centre in the instruction of over 600 Ukrainian soldiers – a very challenging feat when considering only three days of training were provided, along with very limited classroom space allocation.

The UAF members, most of whom recently returned from action within the anti-terrorism operation in the eastern part of Ukraine, honed life saving techniques pertinent to a combat zone, while others learned the skills for the first time. Soldiers sat in on lectures in the classroom setting to develop an understanding of the principles of care under fire, tactical field care, as well as some basic anatomy and physiology, followed by scenario-based training which included tourniquet and bandage application.

With significant combat experience under their belts, many of the UAF members were quickly able to provide comparisons of the training scenarios to real combat, while several provided testimony of the validity of the equipment and techniques being demonstrated. Most of whom stated that they have witnessed firsthand the increase in survivability of combat casualties since Canadian, American, and British soldiers began CFA training opportunities in 2015.

To demonstrate success of previous LoE 5 projects, several of the instructors were brought to IPSC from throughout Ukraine, specifically to teach the course, while others were recent graduates of a previous CFA Instructors course, conducting their first real time teaching opportunity.