Specialized training prepares Emergency Medical Technicians to become first responders

Training programme supported by UNDP and European Union teaches advanced skills in first aid

October 7, 2022

Photo: UNDP Ukraine

Chernivtsi, Ukraine, 7 October 2022 – This week 30 Ukrainians became Emergency Medical Technicians, graduating from a specialized training course supported by the United Nations Development Programme in Ukraine and the European Union. An emergency medical technician (EMT) is a medical professional who, as a first responder, gives emergency care to people outside of or on the way to the hospital. There is a growing demand in Ukraine for well-trained emergency medical aid teams, who are under enormous pressure due to the increased number of civilians with severe injuries from the war.

EMT training courses are usually 150 to 200 hours in length and involve classroom lectures, practical skills labs, and clinical observation. The classroom portion of these courses can be delivered in an online format, but the skills labs and observations must be completed in-person. The students acquired their theoretical knowledge online with trainers from the Bakhmut Medical College, Ukraine. They were able to practice their skills with trainers from the Chernivtsi Oblast Centre of Emergency Medical Aid and Disaster Medicine.  

Manal Fouani, interim UNDP Resident Representative in Ukraine, said emergency medical teams in Ukraine are constantly working in overload mode to meet the challenges of wartime. “We are making every effort to ensure that emergency response teams can effectively deal with more complex and dangerous situations by having highly qualified and trained personnel," she said. “We will continue working with local authorities on the front lines to ensure the many civilians who are caught in the cross-fire or who are victims of shelling get the urgent care they need to hopefully save their lives.”

Frederik Coene, Head of Cooperation at the EU Delegation to Ukraine, said the war in Ukraine constantly causes new challenges, and all efforts must be made to overcome them. "Together with our national partners and UNDP, we support new areas of training that will strengthen the capacity of the medical field and rapid response on the ground," he said. "Our priority is to save people's lives and provide all possible tools for efficient and prompt delivery of critical tools to the medical emergency teams."

Volodymyr Yelenev, Director of the Chernivtsi Oblast Centre for Emergency Medical Aid and Disaster Medicine, said he is grateful the Centre joined such a powerful project to train emergency medical technicians: "We are proud that our Centre was one of the first in Ukraine to conduct such training. We thank the partners for high-quality training and completion of the first cycle in Chernivtsi Oblast."

Natalia Krasnozhon, Director of Bakhmut Medical College, said the team is happy to take over the baton of the reform of emergency medical care in cooperation with UNDP. "We believe the graduates of the Chernivtsi Oblast Centre of Emergency Medical Aid and Disaster Medicine, working side by side with medical workers, will maintain high standards of providing emergency aid to the population," she said.


UNDP supports the training within the UN Recovery and Peacebuilding Programme with the financial support of the European Union.  The current initiative is an extension of a project that began in 2021, to start a training programme in the speciality "Emergency medical technician" together with medical colleges in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts.  

Media enquiries

Yuliia Samus, UNDP Ukraine Head of Communications; e-mail: yuliia.samus@undp.org

Graduation from Emergency Medical Technician course