Now, IAF can run AC hospitals in tents

By Sahil Makkar, IANS,

Agra : The Indian Air Force (IAF) Monday exhibited its newly acquired tent-based medical facilities that can be airlifted to establish a 25-bed air-conditioned hospital at any disaster site within 24 hours.

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“Earlier we used to put up normal tents on iron rods to run our emergency hospitals. With the new system, we can set up a 25-bed air-conditioned hospital within 24 hours at any disaster site. This 40-tonne shelter can be airlifted to the nearest airfield and moved to the disaster site,” an IAF officer told IANS on the sidelines of a joint exercise that commenced with the US Air Force (USAF) here.

The IAF has three rapid action medical teams at three hospitals at Hindon near Delhi, Jorhat in Assam and Bangalore in Karnataka. Their task is to provide immediate medical support in the event of a disaster. The new mobile medical shelter has been procured for one of these and after proper evaluation will be inducted with the other teams as well.

“The facility will provide resuscitation, life and limb saving surgery before evacuation to other hospitals,” the officer added.

The facility has an intensive care unit, an operation theatre, wards, a power generation plant, an oxygen plant and a water heating and distribution system besides staff accommodation.

IAF officers did not rule out the possibility of deploying the facility in terror or Maoist areas to provide succor to injured troopers and soldiers.

A senior IAF officer said the new facility would be showcased to the USAF during exercise Cope India that will run till Oct 24.

“We will have a causality exercise during which we would display our ways and procedures of dealing with emergencies. After that, we would take their feedbacks and suggestions to make improvements,” the officer added.

This is the first time such medical facilities have been included in the joint air force exercises.

Colonel Raymond Le Marche of the USAF said: “The joint exercise is aimed at gaining exposure to modern air delivery techniques and the management of evacuating mass casualties by air.”

The sixth edition of Cope India began here Monday. It will run till Oct 24.