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    Polish paramedics provide care to Afghan partners

    Polish paramedics provide care to Afghan partners

    Courtesy Photo | A coalition forces UH-60 Black Hawk medevac helicopter transports wounded Afghans to...... read more read more



    Courtesy Story

    Combined Joint Task Force 1 - Afghanistan

    GHAZNI PROVINCE, Afghanistan - The main task of Task Force White Eagle’s medical team in Combat Outpost Qarabagh, Afghanistan, is to provide coalition forces with medical assistance. However, Polish paramedics help wounded Afghan soldiers and policemen nearly every day.

    Since no Afghan medical facility is nearby, wounded Afghan soldiers and police officers are often brought to Qarabagh for treatment. From late May to early June, the medical team treated 17 seriously wounded Afghan soldiers and security personnel from Kabul.

    Housed on a small base in southern Ghazni Province, the Polish Military Contingent medical staff works in the dispensary located in a tent. There is no hospital and there are no doctors. The burden of emergency medical response rests with the base’s 13 paramedics.

    In addition to operating the clinic 24 hours a day seven days a week, TF White Eagle’s military and civilian paramedics participate in patrols, quick reaction forces and provide support for coalition soldiers from COP Qarabagh.

    “On days when Afghan patients are brought to the base, everyone moves into action even though they may have recently returned from a patrol or are resting following a shift with the QRF,” said Polish army Cpl. Łukasz Piwiński, a TF White Eagle paramedic.

    “All of them set off to work, because every pair of hands may be at a premium,” said Polish army Maj. Grzegorz Kaliciak, COP Qarabagh commander. “Each one also knows exactly what to do,” he added.

    While some medics meet the victims at the base’s gate, others prepare the dispensary.

    With so few paramedics available, the clinic staff also relies on support from other soldiers on base.

    "In such actions, soldiers who are not associated with the medical service are often also involved. There is no need to ask them (to help), nor order - the officers, noncommissioned officers, or privates grab a stretcher or assist in the field clinic providing, for example, bandages," said Michał Gąbiński, civilian medic and the team leader.

    In many cases, the Polish medics provide the first level of treatment for patients with serious injuries. After being treated, patients who need a higher level of medical care are transported to Ghazni hospital.

    After their patients leave COP Qarabagh, the medics usually don’t see the patients again, but they often call their colleagues from Ghazni hospital to check their condition.

    "It is extremely motivating when you learn that everything is OK with them,” said Gąbiński. “I convey this information to the guys, because through this we have even more energy for the next day’s work."

    In some cases, an injured person has been brought to the team too late for help said Gąbiński.

    "In such situations, we do not think about it, we operate according to schedule. Emotions come later," said Gąbiński.

    After losing a patient, the paramedics talk about it and move forward, he said.

    "We must move quickly to the daily orders,” said Polish Army Cpl. Michael Michalski. He said to move forward, the team must “forget about the past and focus on performing other tasks."

    "Our paramedics are really very close-knit team, despite the fact that they come from different subunits. I am very happy with their work. Thanks to their involvement we were able to rescue many people," said Kaliciak, the base commander.



    Date Taken: 06.11.2011
    Date Posted: 06.10.2011 16:07
    Story ID: 71906

    Web Views: 377
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