: Tactical medic speaks about his volunteering experience in Ukraine
Opinion17:58 Apr. 9, 2016
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Tactical medic speaks about his volunteering experience in Ukraine

Ricardo Flores-Artola shares his knowledge with Ukrainian soldiers on frontlines

Ricardo Flores-Artola, tactical medical volunteer from Zee Medical, joins Ukraine Today to discuss the importance of medical training for increasing survival ability in military operation.

Ricardo Flores is an experienced combat medic who served for many years with the American armed forces and went on combat employment in Somalia, Afghanistan and Iraq. And now he is in Ukraine to share his experience and his knowledge.

Read also Ukrainian Special Forces medics undergo intense first aid training

Talking about the importance of tactical medicine knowledge, Mr. Flores describe it as "a combination of things, but most importantly is maintaining situation awareness of the environment that you are dealing with."

Read also 'Angels of War': behind the scenes at a military field hospital in east Ukraine

He adds, "when you provide medicine in a hospital, it is completely different than when you provide medicine on the battlefield. Tactical combat casualty care is broken down into three phases. The first one is when an individual is taking effective enemy hostile fire, so you are under immediate threat. At that time, all you can do is return fire to try to suppress the enemy or neutralize the threat, and the only medical treatment you would do in this situation is maybe drag a casualty behind covering concealment. A lot of people who have not been to combat, do it like in the movies, where you see a guy who gets injured, and the medic rushes out in the open, all heroic. But when a medic does that, he becomes another casualty. You have to understand that in a real combat, you have to suppress the enemy, grab your casualty and take them behind some covering concealment."

Watch also Ukraine Today documentary 'Call Me Doc'

In Ukraine, Ricardo Flores worked also with Patriot Defence, a non-profit organization, and providing his experience straight to the soldiers on the frontline.

Watch also  Ukraine Today's Viewpoint with Ulana Suprun, Patriot Defence NGO Director"We gave a soldier a first aid kit, he said it gave him hope of returning alive from the frontline"

Commenting this, he noticed, "I come once or twice a year to Ukraine. Even though Patriot Defence and the instructors are making a great progress, sometimes they do not see it as much as I do. I come back six month later and I see a great difference."

Talking about the need of equipment for solders and medics, Mr. Flores said that question still exists, and not units are equipped properly.

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