News: Afghan medics answer call after bus accident
Story by Lance Cpl. Timothy Lenzo
FORWARD OPERATING BASE DELARAM II, Afghanistan - Afghan National Army medics are tending to patients brought in from a bus accident, March 26.
Sunday, the ANA medics learned about an incoming mass casualty situation. A passenger bus collided head on with a car close to base, and with the closest hospital more than four hours away, the seriously injured patients were brought straight to the ANA medic’s tent.
There were 28 casualties.
“The patients came from different provinces,” said ANA Staff Sgt. Asmutullah, senior medic, 4th Kandak, 2nd Brigade, 215th Corps. “They went to run errands. They were on their way to Kabul.”
The ANA medics see local Afghans on a daily basis, but don’t see mass casualty situations often.
The medics immediately mobilized ambulances to the scene after receiving a call from an ANA unit about the accident.
“Yesterday, we got a call around 10 a.m.,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Fredrick Ehlers, Ehlers, medical advisor, Embedded, Partnership Team, Combat Logistic Battalion 4. Afghan medics prepared the clinic to treat the patients quickly and efficiently after receiving the call.
“The ANA medics were there immediately,” said Seaman Matthew Green, field medical technician, ETT, RCT-6. “By the time I got into the tent, the ANA medics were already handling stuff. They were doing a really good job.”
Green, from Macclenny, Fla., said the ANA medics’ quick actions and organization impressed the Marines and sailors.
The vehicle rollover caused a variety of injuries, testing the medics’ skills and training.
“We had arm fractures, neck fractures and head fractures,” said Asmutullah.
The medics handled more than broken bones, making sure any injuries were taken care of. Green said the medics cleaned and wrapped any lacerations they came across, taking care of life threatening injuries first.
“They already had IVs going when I got here, and there were already splints done,” said Greene. “They were cleaning everything, wrapping cuts, cleaning them. They were getting patients in and out really quick.”
Ehler, from New Orleans, said it’s helpful having the ANA medics treat local Afghans.
The ANA medics are still treating several casualties a day after the accident. They continue treating the wounded, informing families and medically clearing patients before sending them home.
Editor’s note: Forward Operating Base Delaram II currently houses Regimental Combat Team 6 in 1st Marine Division (Forward), which heads Task Force Leatherneck. The task force serves as the ground combat element of Regional Command (Southwest) and works in partnership with the Afghan National Security Force and the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to conduct counterinsurgency operations. The unit is dedicated to securing the Afghan people, defeating insurgent forces, and enabling ANSF assumption of security responsibilities within its area of operations in order to support the expansion of stability, development and legitimate governance.
For a story about the training these medics received, visit http://www.dvidshub.net/image/542264/afghan-medics-train-their-own-impress-marines-and-sailors.