Mixed trainee cohorts, comprising individuals with different skill levels and from different organisations (the military, the police, etc.), offered the potential for unintended positive impacts. This included the ability for stronger students to improve their mentoring skills by supporting their less advanced peers; the chance for less advanced peers to learn from those with more previous training; and improved interoperability between critical first aid services. This was particularly the case in the Philippines and Maldives.
The use of practical training exercises, adapted to trainee needs and carried out in real-world environments, were by far the most effective means for building confidence and expanding trainee knowledge. Major multi-casualty scenarios run by the trainers received extremely positive feedback from trainees. Siren’s ability to tailor training delivery to the different cohorts’ needs and effectively use training methods in an engaging way was a critical component of changing the perspective of trainees regarding the means and methods for delivering training.
The opportunity for students themselves to conduct trainings, and receive feedback from trainers while in country, was an important element in ensuring project impact but also in providing the students with the opportunity for advanced mentoring and feedback.
While women were confident and clear when tasked to present in front of their peers, it was noted during the training in Indonesia that, in small group exercises, they tended to defer to male colleagues and presented less. For this reason, the trainers deliberately planned periodic all-women small group exercises.