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Complex Medical Training Exercise in Kosovo

Szöveg: Lt. Csaba Búz |  2016. július 21. 12:47

The designated units from the 14th rotation of the HDF KFOR Contingent (KFOR-14 HUNCON) participated in a complex training exercise in mid-July, when the staff of the Medical Centre assigned to the Pristina-based joint Portuguese-Hungarian KFOR Tactical Reserve Maneuver Battalion (KTM) was tasked with handling a simulated mass casualty (MASCAL) situation.


According to the initial training scenario, several peacekeepers were wounded in action when they came under attack at the main gate of Camp Slim Lines, and therefore the whole KTM was called out to deal with the situation. In a mass casualty (MASCAL) event, immediate life-saving intervention must be provided to everybody, so until the arrival of the medical personnel, the soldiers on duty – who are not qualified medics but have completed first responder training – started to administer self-aid and buddy aid right away. Concurrent with that, the quick reaction medical force teams from the staff of the Medical Centre deployed immediately to the scene, where the on-scene incident medical commander began to set up triage. Considering the limited number of available medical staff in the emergency situation, the Combat Life Savers were also involved in the treatment of the wounded.

Under the definition of major incident medical management and support (MIMMS), due to the large number of casualties – as compared to that of the medical personnel on the scene to treat them –, an imbalance is produced between medical needs and available resources. This imbalance can be mitigated by using strategies of triage and treatment based on compromise, Col. Zoltán Vekerdi, the commander of the Medical Centre told us. “The core purpose of medical support is to preserve and maintain the combat readiness of our troops", the colonel added.


After the immediate life-saving interventions, two patients with severe injuries had to be transported to a higher ROLE-level facility. Based on international cooperation, the US KFOR contingent provided an UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter for the Air MEDEVAC. Stationed in Camp Novo Selo, the Hungarian medical personnel also joined the tasks, acting as role-players in a field hospital. During the pre-exercise training period, with the help of German instructors, the Hungarian and Portuguese medical personnel were practicing with mannequins to rehearse the tasks in the Prizren field hospital, and the specialized crews were also training together for the Air MEDEVAC in the KTM’s camp. Furthermore, in order to coordinate the treatment of the casualties, the Medical Centre standardized the two nations’ medical guidelines. In the interest of establishing an organized emergency situation, all resources (EOD technicians, means of transport and cordoning the site) must be available at the right place and time, so the designated units dealt with the current situation under the supervision of the KTM HQ.


According to Col. Vekerdi, the objectives of the MASCAL exercise have been attained, and the forces involved in the tasks have successfully tested the system of command and control. It can be stated that the KTM personnel is ready to effectively respond to a MASCAL situation as well.

Photos by the author