In addition to shipping medical supplies to Ukrainians fighting for the independence and integrity of their country, NGO Free Ukraine has been organizing courses in Tactical Combat Casualty Care for Ukrainian medics. The intensive TCCC courses, which teach life-saving first aid procedures and skills, are organized jointly with the Estonian National Defense College. Forty Ukrainian medics have been trained so far. We are making efforts to continue offering these courses: Ukraine is a big country and there is a dire need for medical instructors with up-to-date knowledge and skills.
Upon returning home, the medical instructors trained in Tartu started teaching combat medicine to soldiers. They noticed that the soldiers had a hard time remembering the protocol (C)ABCDE that is based on the Latin alphabet. They decided to adjust the language, while keeping the substance of the protocol unchanged. The result is KOLESO (the Ukrainian word for a wheel).
Why is this important? When helping a wounded soldier, seconds matter. Vital functions need to be checked and the nature of the injury must be ascertained. The order of the checks and procedures that must be performed is important. Each letter in the acronym corresponds to a certain procedure. The Ukrainian alphabet differs from the Latin alphabet. The word „KOLESO,“ however, is easy to remember.
This innovation was presented to the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense. At the time of writing, KOLESO has been adopted for official use in the Ukrainian army, initially for testing, but it is quite likely that soon it will become an integral component of the basic training that all new soldiers go through.
In sum, the work of NGO Free Ukraine, made possible by the generosity of the Estonian people as well as our foreign supporters, is producing unexpected breakthroughs and innovative results that have potential to be applied on a large scale, transforming the way combat medicine is taught in Ukraine.
Let’s keep the wheels turning!