By Tim Cranton, Owner, ParamedCZ
Edited by Voices of Ukraine
My name is Tim Cranton and I am the owner and training director of Paramed CZ. We are a professional training organization, based in the Czech Republic.
We are specialists in the provision of medical training for those people who live and work in extreme and austere environments and locations. All of our staff are experienced practitioners in combat and austere medicine and our organization was formed out of a single ideal, which is to save and preserve life. We know first hand how hard it can be to deliver any kind of medical care in the field. The idea was born from friends working together for a common goal. The ParamedCZ team have a Military and Remote/Offshore Medicine background and are licensed partners of Exmed Uk Ltd, delivering fully accredited courses.
In June 2014, we were contacted by friends in Ukraine to help and assist in the training of soldiers and volunteers in combat medicine. When there are friends in need it is our duty to assist and so began our journey in helping the people and defenders of Ukraine to save lives, their own and that of their comrades. With the assistance of volunteers from the Red Cross and the Ukrainian World Congress (UWC) we developed a training program that best suited the current situation. Battle proven, modern thinking, techniques, skills and equipment were written into an intensive program of training that would help to reduce battlefield deaths and bring Ukrainians home to their families. This is the first time that this kind of training has ever been provided to the Ukrainian armed forces soldier. This training is available and the techniques practiced by every other armed forces in Europe.
Over the course of 2 full days we train soldiers and volunteers how to recognize catastrophic bleeding and fix it, how to recognize an airway problem and fix it, and how to recognize a breathing problem and fix it. We have also taught elements of prolonged field care and evacuation care. In the past the techniques we trained in were reserved for doctors and surgeons. Now, every soldier who has completed the Combat Lifesaver Basic course can carry out medical aid whilst under fire and apply the Combat Applied Tourniquet, ‘CAT.’ When they have rescued their ‘buddy’ to a ‘safe zone’ they can open an airway and preserve it after using airway adjuncts and can recognize penetrating chest trauma and seal the wound and decompress the chest with a needle to treat the life threatening condition Tension Pneumothorax.
The most important thing that people learn, we think, is that it is possible to save somebody’s life in the battlefield with the right training and the right equipment. We then expand on that by showing them what, when where and how.
It is important that this training carry on, even after the international trainers have left so we have also trained local Combat Lifesavers, Medics, Nurses and Doctors how to be instructors so that they can teach to internationally recognized standards. Dr. Ulana Suprun, of Patriot Defence and the UWC, is an example to all, with her selfless dedication which goes hand in hand with those that work with her on a daily basis.
We will continue to work with, and support UWC and Patriot Defence for as long as we are required. We are now putting together a long term training strategy which we intend to submit as soon as approval is gained by recognised international bodies, and hope to have this available within a week.
It is imperative that this training continues, now and beyond any conflict to ensure that Ukraine’s armed services become and remain a modern, operational fighting force with access to modern practices and techniques, without which people will not survive in the battlefields of today.