Operation UNIFIER medical staff hit the ground running

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Article / September 12, 2016 / Project number: fs-cjoc

By: a Joint Task Force-Ukraine Medical Technician and Trainer

Barely unpacked, Joint Task Force-Ukraine medical staff began mentoring Ukrainian instructors in mid-August as they conducted their first Combat First Aid (CFA) course. The course was entirely taught by the Ukrainian Armed Forces instructors, who were  well-trained by the outgoing Operation UNIFIER medical personnel.

After a busy handover with the out-going medical team, the newly arrived medical staff from 1 Field Ambulance at Canadian Forces Base Edmonton moved forward with an open mind.

“I was very impressed with the level of performance and instruction,” said a Master Corporal Medical Technician and trainer at the conclusion of Ukrainian-led Combat First Aid training. “Our Ukrainian instructor colleagues, as well as the course candidates, far exceeded expectations.”

The course was divided into segments that included theoretical (classroom-based) instruction, demonstrations of technique from the Ukrainian instructors, practical sessions where candidates demonstrated their understanding of material, and skill stations designed to perfect key techniques.

The Ukrainian instructors arrived the day before classes started. This gave the Canadian medical mentors time to review expectations and provide the Ukrainians an opportunity to refine their skills and ask any last minute questions prior to beginning instruction the next morning. This was the first opportunity for Ukrainian instructors to deliver a complete CFA course to their Ukrainian Armed Forces colleagues, and they stepped up to the plate in a big way.

The course consisted of thirty-six candidates with diverse backgrounds and military experience levels, ranging from seasoned veterans with front-line experience, to new recruits with as little as nine months of total military experience. All of the candidates were enthusiastic and eager to learn the course material; their pride showed when they were congratulated by the Operation UNIFIER Task Force Commander, Task Force Sergeant-Major, and Task Force Surgeon upon graduation.

“I think the success of a Ukrainian-led CFA course marks an important milestone in the progression of Operation UNIFIER,” said Major Carlo Rossi, Operation UNIFIER, Task Force Surgeon. “These courses are a strong indicator of the mission’s success-to-date, and are the way forward for our medical training here.”

The inaugural course complete, Operation UNIFIER medical staff are now on to the next challenge: they will be mentoring the next CFA serial being delivered to Ukrainian Combat Engineers by Ukrainian instructors.

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