IAF Rapid Ac­tion Med­i­cal Team has bap­tism in Odisha

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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

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