IAF Rapid Action Medical Team has baptism in Odisha
A 37-member Indian Air Force (IAF) Rapid Action Medical Team (RAMT) comprising three doctors including a surgeon, anaesthetist and a lady medical officer accompanied by two nursing officers and other paramedics from Jorhat, Assam, was among the first IAF element to be positioned in Odisha, to deal with medical emergencies post-arrival of cyclone Phailin.
The team was stationed in Behrampur University campus, which bore the brunt of the cyclone onslaught. For the members of the RAMT, the surreal experience of being in the middle of a storm was also their baptism with emergency situations that will remain their hallmark for operations in future.
“We had braced ourselves for the worst,” Squadron Leader Lovneet Kaur, the lady doctor who heads the No. 2 RAMT, reveals. “Thankfully, the stormy night did not rip our roof away although the doors and windows gave away flooding our rooms,” she bravely recalls.
“We treated about 30 patients mostly children and women who were injured as a result of either a fall or hit by the flying debris during the storm,” surgical specialist, Wing Commander S.V. Kulkarni, attached from an Air Force Hospital for the mission, said.
The IAF had raised three RAMT units at Bengaluru, Jorhat and Hindon in 1999, to provide immediate and organised medical and surgical aid in the event of a disaster within their respective zones of responsibility. The RAMT aids the central or state administration in the event of any occurrence of disaster.
Keeping in view the serious medical needs of cyclone affected people of Puri and Cuttack districts, the Air Force RAMT team has since been moved from Behrampur to Bhubaneswar.
The IAF’s latest strategic transport aircraft, the
C-17 Globemaster, loaded with relief materials including specialist army vehicles and ambulance
from bases in central India to Bhubaneswar