Successful training venture

This article has photo gallery Published on LEUT Ben Churcher (author), ABIS Jake Badior (photographer)

Lieutenant Michael Bonning explains advanced airway access to members of HMAS Success' Ships Company during a training exercise while in the Middle East Region as part of Operation MANITOU. (photo: Able Seaman Jake Badior)
Lieutenant Michael Bonning explains advanced airway access to members of HMAS Success' Ships Company during a training exercise while in the Middle East Region as part of Operation MANITOU.

Not satisfied with their achievements during their recent Operation MANITOU deployment to the Middle East, the crew of HMAS Success has spent the return trip refreshing essential skills and cross-training.

The ship’s medical team of Lieutenant Michael Bonning, Petty Officer Medic David Young and Able Seaman Medic Rachelle Karmiste have been passing on their specialist skills and delivering of a suite of training aimed towards the award of a Senior First Aid Certificate. 

First Aid training is usually delivered in initial training at the Royal Australian Naval College at HMAS Creswell and HMAS Cerberus' Recruit School and is the equivalent of the recognised civilian qualification or a St John’s Senior First Aid Certificate. This qualification expires after three years and this initiative has enabled many members of ship's company to regain recognised civilian qualifications. 

The course was modified to be suitable for delivery at sea and Petty Officer Young shaped the course into six workable modules for the environment and available time. 

Lieutenant Michael Bonning and Petty Officer Medic David Young (left) demonstrate the securing of advanced airway during a training exercise for members of HMAS Success Ships Company while in the Middle East Region as part of Operation MANITOU.

Lieutenant Michael Bonning and Petty Officer Medic David Young (left) demonstrate the securing of advanced airway during a training exercise for members of HMAS Success Ships Company while in the Middle East Region as part of Operation MANITOU.

"It's a significant course, with a lot of information covering the myriad medical emergencies that may be encountered by a first-aid provider and with the ship on operation and everyone busy with their respective jobs out here, we couldn’t deliver it in whole-day sessions," Petty Officer Young said. 

"We broke the course into workable, smaller modules and deliver each module several times so that there were flexible options for all members. 

"It enabled the maximum number of people to be included in the programme," he said.

Success’ Medical Officer Lieutenant Bonning recognised that with the three year expiry, many members serving in the fleet would not hold a current qualification. 

"The First Aid training provided by the Navy is very high-quality but I have always felt that it was important that we provided an option to our members to undertake refresher training and maintain their currency," Lieutenant Bonning said.

"An incident requiring first aid could occur at any time, especially in our dynamic and potentially dangerous workplace; it is important that the first person on the scene in those cases has a solid awareness of how to act," he said.

The sessions, delivered by all three members of the medical team, involved both theory and practical elements. A significant number of personnel completed the course with all gaining valuable skills and enhancing their and the ship’s ability to respond to myriad types of medical emergencies. 

HMAS Success arrives back in Sydney on 3 June.