Ramp we all dread

Western Times - - NEWS - KRISTIN SHORTEN

AS the am­bu­lance whisked the wounded soldier away to hos­pi­tal, Dr Dan Pronk slumped against his med­i­cal kit on the tar­mac. In the dust and hell­fire of bat­tle, and then dur­ing the hec­tic 25-minute chop­per ride back to base, Pronk had thought of noth­ing but try­ing to stem the bleed­ing from the hole in Sap­per Rowan Robin­son’s neck and keep­ing his heart pump­ing. Now, with Robin­son in the hands of sur­geons, there was noth­ing more Pronk (pic­tured be­low) could do. Noth­ing but think. “I just felt numb. I didn’t know how to feel,” Ma­jor Pronk re­called about that day in June 2011. “I think at that point I knew Rowan’s in­juries were un­sur­viv­able and I knew it was in­evitable that we were go­ing to be hav­ing an­other ramp cer­e­mony.” A ramp cer­e­mony is the name of the farewell that troops in the field give to fallen com­rades. The mo­ment of­fers a rare in­sight into the emo­tional toll faced by the medics who serve along­side the spe­cial forces of Aus­tralia’s Spe­cial Op­er­a­tions Com­mand.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.