Air Force’s first Combat First Aid (CFA) Course was conducted at RAAF Amberley by 2SECFOR SQN from 25 Mar to 12 Apr 19.
CFA is the next level up of advanced first aid training within the ADF and is geared towards trauma and environmental management, augmenting existing ADF medical support.
At the end of the course, students will have a higher level of understanding of human anatomy, medical interventions, advanced first aid application, administration of pain relief medication within their approved scope of practice, and the ability to coordinate the evacuation of patients within any environment or setting.
The three week course covers both theory and practical applications, and requires students to follow the Army CFA Code of Practice and drug therapy protocols as prescribed by the Army School of Health (ASH), including very specific and strict drug management practice.
WOFF Nathan Hogg, Course Coordinator, said the assistance of Army School of Health and 11 Close Health Battalion in conducting the CFA course has been invaluable.
“The Battalion provided the CFA Course with SME instructors for oversight, governance and specialist support which covered all aspects of the course," WOFF Hogg said.
“Drug protocols and administration can only be taught by an authorised Medical Officer, so the support given by the Battalion has been greatly appreciated.
“In the future we will aim to use Air Force Medical Officers to provide the drug protocol lessons, with ASH providing overwatch.”
The 20 students are a mix of 1SECFOR, 2SECFOR, 3SECFOR, RAAF SFS and Army members, and include; Airfield Defence Guards, Air Force Police, Air Force Security (Military Working Dog Handlers) and Army Calvary.
Trooper Lachlan Cameron, 2/14th Light Horse Regiment QLD Mounted Infantry, said the course was really good and a good step up from the Army First Aider course.
“The best we’ve learnt has been drug administration, and learning all the protocols and how to administer them,” TPR Cameron said.
“It’s been great to be on an Air Force-led course, and being able to work with Air Force and see how they work compared to Army.”
The ultimate goal of having Air Force conduct its own CFA courses is to be self-sustaining to directly support our war fighting capabilities in the defence of our airfields and establish an enduring CFA training continuum to encompass all units who are in the medium to high risk areas.
“Having CFAs in units who undertake medium to high-risk activities, both on exercises and operations, is essential to the safety of our people,” WOFF Hogg said.
“Being able to manage trauma, environmental emergencies and coordinate evacuations within any environment will greatly increase Air Force’s expeditionary capability and will directly safeguard our people.”