Canadian helicopters are ‘flying emergency rooms’ in Mali peacekeeping mission – National


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Two-hundred-and-fifty Canadian troops and eight helicopters have simply landed on the sting of the Sahara desert, becoming a member of the United Nations’ peacekeeping mission to Mali that’s been something however peaceable.

At the least 170 UN personnel have been killed for the reason that mission’s inception in 2013, making Mali the UN’s deadliest operation. However the subsequent time a peacekeeper or civilian in Mali is injured, the Canadian cavalry can fly to their rescue. And the possibilities of survival simply improved in consequence.

Jeff Semple: First impressions of Canadian peacekeepers in Mali

Till just lately, if a soldier received harm throughout a navy mission, they had been picked up by a helicopter and rushed to the closest hospital. However in Mali, the Canadians are bringing the hospital to the affected person.

The Canadian Armed Forces have remodeled three of its CH-147F Chinook helicopters into airborne emergency rooms. They’re deployed with an onboard medical group that features a physician, nurse and two medics. Even the 2 heavily-armed navy escorts have superior medical coaching.

Lt.-Col. Leilani Doyle is a Canadian medical physician with Canada’s UN Mission to Mali.

Jeff Semple / International Information

“You’re going to get ‘First World’ care at the back of the Chinook, as should you simply walked right into a Canadian emergency room,” stated Col. Chris McKenna, the commander-in-charge of Canada’s first large-scale UN mission in almost twenty years.

“The extent of well being care that’s occurring on this helicopter is about the identical as you’d get in Vancouver, Quebec Metropolis or Ottawa.”

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International Information was invited aboard one of many Chinook helicopters to witness a coaching train in Mali. The medical group flew to a distant location about 30-minutes from their navy base within the metropolis of Gao, to retrieve a Canadian soldier who was pretending to have critical head and leg accidents from an improvised explosive machine.

The sufferer was rigorously lifted onto a stretcher and carried aboard the helicopter, the place the medical group instantly huddled round on their knees and started their procedures earlier than the Chinook was even again within the air.

Global News Europe Bureau Chief Jeff Semple was invited aboard a Canadian Chinook helicopter to witness a training exercise in Mali.

International Information Europe Bureau Chief Jeff Semple was invited aboard a Canadian Chinook helicopter to witness a coaching train in Mali.

Jeff Semple / International Information

“Getting the affected person to the hospital as rapidly as potential is among the most necessary issues we will do,” stated Lt.-Col. Leilani Doyle, the group’s physician. “So what we’re doing is, as a substitute of getting an ambulance convey the affected person to an emergency division, we’re bringing the emergency division to the affected person.”

When not on navy deployment, Doyle works as a doctor at a hospital in Ottawa. She says the airborne well being care requires a complete new degree of co-ordination, resourcefulness and stamina.

Jeff Semple: Canadian peacekeepers battle extreme weather in Mali helicopter exercise

“Again house in my emergency division, I’m simply carrying a pair of scrubs. I’m not carrying all the private protecting tools. All of that stuff on us is about 105 kilos. That’s not fairly my physique weight, but it surely’s getting near my physique weight. So that may get a little bit bit oppressive.”

“To observe the medication that’s occurring at the back of this plane, in 40-degree warmth, being pitched across the sky and nonetheless conducting that degree of medication is nothing in need of unimaginable,” stated Col. McKenna. “That is model new to Canada and it’s going extraordinarily effectively.”

A Canadian CH-147F Chinook helicopter is deployed on a medical evacuation training exercise near Gao, Mali. The medical team includes a doctor, nurse and two medics.

A Canadian CH-147F Chinook helicopter is deployed on a medical evacuation coaching train close to Gao, Mali. The medical group contains a physician, nurse and two medics.

Jeff Semple / International Information

Whereas the so-called “Ahead Medical Evacuation” represents a Canadian first, the system is predicated on an analogous British mannequin that was deployed throughout the conflict in Afghanistan, which produced a barely higher survival charge than the normal system of deploying emergency air transport to a close-by hospital.

The Canadian mission is made potential on account of Canada’s unusually giant Chinook helicopters (roughly 30 metres in size), which give sufficient area and provides to deal with as much as seven sufferers concurrently.

A CAF Chinook Helicopter.

A CAF Chinook Helicopter.

Jeff Semple / International Information

“The Chinook is admittedly good at shifting a lot of stuff the place you want it to go, with out having to refuel a complete lot of instances,” stated Canadian pilot Pete Hanly.

“That is the biggest helicopter that’s on this [mission], and it permits us to not fear about these gas stops to get to 1 place or one other.”

The newly-arrived Canadians have but to answer an actual medical emergency in Mali, however they’re now “on name” 24/7 till the Canadian mission ends on July 31, 2019, with a dedication to be airborne inside 30 minutes of receiving a name.

Jeff Semple: Canadian peacekeepers ‘shoulder-to-shoulder’ with German, Dutch troops in Mali

Q: How can you tell which military rifle belongs to the Canadian medical doctor? A: It’s the one with the pink unicorn tape.

Q: How will you inform which navy rifle belongs to the Canadian medical physician? A: It’s the one with the pink unicorn tape.

Jeff Semple / International Information

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