Saving lives: Canadian Armed Forces members mentor Ukrainian Combat First Aid instructors

Soldiers walk through a field with a large puddle, some carrying large loads.
Ukrainian Armed Forces (UAF) Combat Medic candidates transport casualties to safety during a casualty evacuation exercise. The pilot course is conducted by UAF instructors and administrators, under the mentorship of Canadian and American medical personnel. This training was conducted under Operation UNIFIER. Joint Task Force Ukraine AK51-2017-032-003


By Major Carrie McQuiggan, Canadian Armed Forces Nursing Officer – OC of Medical Training for Operation UNIFIER

STARYCHI, UKRAINE. The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) Operation UNIFIER is providing Combat First Aid instruction and mentorship to aid the Ukrainian Armed Forces in their efforts to save lives.

Soldiers are receiving the lifesaving knowledge and equipment they need thanks to the donations of equipment and Individual First Aid Kits provided by Canada, the Ukrainian Armed Forces (UAF), partner nations, and charitable organizations.

Along with the United States and Great Britain, Canada has been working with Ukrainian Medical Reforms staff and Instructors from the 205th Ukrainian Armed Forces Tactical Medicine Training Centre. They are developing medical training programs. Completed programs include a basic level lifesaver course designed for all soldiers, as well as an enhanced program and a Combat Medic course.

” The Canadian staff, Regular and Reserve Force Medical Technicians, belong to Line of Effort 5 on Operation UNIFIER,” explained Sergeant T.S. Stackhouse, the lead instructor for the Line of Effort 5. ” They are responsible for establishing a cadre of Combat First Aid Instructors within the Ukrainian Armed Forces to ensure delivery of basic lifesaving skills to their soldiers.”

UAF instructors from across Ukraine have demonstrated a keen interest in learning and sharing their own knowledge and experience with the Canadian team.

” They joined other instructors from around Ukraine, and under the mentorship of medical staff from Canada and the United States, the instructors conducted a combat first aid course for over 600 Ukrainian soldiers,” said Sergeant Stackhouse.

Combat First Aid instructor candidates arrive for training with a variety of combat experiences and previous knowledge. Many of them have deployed to the Anti-Terrorist Operation and have seen and assisted casualties with severe injuries and multiple traumas. They have put their Combat First Aid training into action and are able to share their previous experience with their students through realistic tactical scenarios.

” Their previous experiences witnessing and assisting casualties allows for a unique understanding of the first aid skills being taught, as well as the importance of ensuring their future students take the training seriously,” said Sergeant Stackhouse.

Ukrainian Instructors at the Tactical Medicine Training Centre are designing high quality programs that reflect NATO standards and use modernized equipment. They have reviewed literature and products from trauma experts around the world and are incorporating this knowledge into the development of their courses. They should be very proud of the work they have accomplished.

Image gallery

  • Soldiers walk through a field with a large puddle, some carrying large loads.
  • Group of soldiers stand around a mannequin with simulated injuries lying on the ground.
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