Collaborating with the Canadian Armed Forces to help save lives


Published: 22Sep2017
Image by Marissa McGirr.

Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) conduct operational, peacekeeping or humanitarian missions. A key-support element, CAF medical personnel must be ready to triage and manage mass casualty incidents, working together to save lives.

In order to maintain clinical competency and be ready to deploy on operations, medical personnel take part in training programs such as the Advanced Military Trauma Resuscitation Program (AMTRP), a five-day program that targets medical officers, physician assistants, nursing officers and medical technicians. AMTRP was originally conceived to provide pre-deployment training for medical personnel going to Afghanistan where, for the first time in decades, they were treating high volumes of severe trauma.  The training is conducted by both Canadian Forces instructors and civilian guest speakers, and includes a mix of didactic content, skills labs and hi-fidelity simulation scenarios. The program offers a unique opportunity to conduct multi-disciplinary team training with an emphasis on trauma care in the varied settings to which Canadian Armed Forces personnel may be deployed.

The Steinberg Centre for Simulation and Interactive Learning at the McGill Faculty of Medicine collaborates with the Canadian Armed Forces to hold these workshops at its facilities. Simulation training is an integral part of keeping current on evidence-based clinical practices and helps prepare medical personnel for what they may face.  It allows participants to immerse in trauma scenarios under austere conditions to practise not only their individual clinical skills, but also their ability to act as an effective team.   


Photo credit: Marissa McGirr

Photo captions:

  1. Teaching staff re-enacting a medical scenario assessed by LCol D. Power (Anest).  From left to right: Maj D. Marion (Int Med), LCol R. Johnston (Anest), Capt L. Williams (Nurse), Maj. K Bui (Nurse) 
  2. Running and monitoring the simulation exercise from the High-fidelity Simulation Control Room.
  3. Team debriefing after the simulation exercise.  From left to right: LCol D. Power, Capt L. Williams, Maj. K Bui, Maj D. Marion, LCol R. Johnston
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