Interview with a Ukrainian first aid instructor

– Hello, Tanya! Please tell us a litte bit about yourself for a start.

– Hi, I am Tatyana Kagui, volunteer medic-instructor of the Azov regiment. I would like to start by thanking our Estonian sisters and brothers for all their support to us, to Ukraine. In April 2015 I participated in a tactical combat casualty care (TCCC) instructor course held in Estonia. Before taking this course, I had been training people for some time, had completed courses in lifesaving first aid in Ukraine and had become a certified instructor. However, what I learned in Estonia dramatically changed my understanding of combat casualty care.

– In what ways did your understanding of casualty care change; what did the course teach you?

– My previous knowledge and skills were not systematic. After attending the couse in Estonia things fell into place and I developed a more systematic understanding of how things should be done. There were two of us from the Azov regiment at the first course. After returning to Ukraine we started training our fighters and new members of our regiment according to the NATO system – more effectively, more simply, without any unnecessary extras, moves and manipulations. Since that time I have taught TCCC not only in my own regiment but also at other locations and units: troops of the Ministry of Interior, units of the army, border guards, and civilians.

– You think it is important to train civilians?

– People tend to torget how important it is to teach first aid to civilians – preferably already at school. With fighters of the Azov regiment we organized training days where we taught regular people, civilians to care for the injured, following the TCCC system.

– What else would you like to point out about the assistance Estonians have been providing?

– I must mention the medical supplies that our Estonian friends have been sending – all these individual first-aid kits for our fighters, trauma bags for frontline medics and instructors, stretchers for evacuating the wounded and all the other things.

– What do these courses give to Ukraine as a whole?

– Recently a third group of Ukrainian medics completed a course in Estonia and returned to Ukraine. They are now training soldiers according to the TCCC system. The knowledge and skills acquired in Estonia enable us to train hundreds of combatants to administer first aid correctly. This means that thousands of people have a much better chance to stay alive, to retain their limbs, and to return safe and sound to their homes, to their loved ones.

To illustrate this conversation, I would like to add a few photos of first aid courses our guys have been organizing according to NATO standards since their return from Estonia.

– Thank you and Слава Украйни! (Glory to Ukraine!)

– Героям слава! (Glory to heros!)