Iqarus, International SOS’s dedicated lead for medical training and the rapid deployment of medical solutions in complex and demanding environments, was engaged to provide medical training for military personnel deploying in the Middle East as part of their pre-mobilisation and preparedness training to the Australian Defence Force (ADF).
The threat to deployed military personnel is real and requires the provision of high-quality, sophisticated medical care at the point of wounding. A reality of battlefield medicine is that the fate of the casualty rests with the person who applies the first dressing, often this will not be a professional medic. This situation places a tremendous clinical responsibility on non-medically qualified soldiers who are already working in conditions of extreme stress.
When delivering international military medical training, it is critical that the approach meets national standards, while meeting the international principles of operating coalitions. Additionally, the training provider must be conscious of the clients’ national and cultural traditions, ensuring that the course terminology and the instructors’ conduct is respectful at all times.
Iqarus entered into a discussion with the Australian Defence Force’s senior command to demonstrate their capabilities and previous experiences of international military medical training. Working in association with International SOS, the team was able to demonstrate our effective training capacity, management structure and geographic presence in both the client’s homeland as well as the third-nation delivery location.
We engaged instructors with proven experience operating within the client’s military medical services. We generated an international training team from our existing military medical training cadre to provide effective delivery at scale during extreme surge requirement. These training teams were supported by joint administrative services drawn from our staff within the third nation delivery location to ensure the provision of efficient personnel, logistical and administrative support to the project and training teams.
Iqarus’ training and management teams developed and coordinated the delivery of a comprehensive training programme, which included an extreme surge requirement in the first month of delivery. We delivered training to large groups of military personnel drawn from all three services, including medics senior commanders and nominated VIPs. Training satisfaction ratings were polled at 92% in the initial month of training and maintained that extreme high standard throughout delivery.
Through close liaison with the client, and supported by Iqarus clinical and training governance expertise, strategies were developed and enacted to ensure that training was delivered safely. The client’s operational effectiveness was maintained throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, with no adverse incidents occurring. As the project and client relationship matured, Iqarus Subject Matter Experts (SME) supported the client in the development standardisation and modernisation of their training syllabus and provision of effective and financially efficient training equipment.
Several former students cited the training received as instrumental in enabling them to act effectively and confidently in treating casualties while deployed, and during domestic incidents following their return from operations.