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Maiden Air Ambulance Sanctioned for Troops in Anti-Naxal Operations

A team of doctors, nursing assistants and paramedics have been deputed to round-the-clock man this first 'dedicated' air ambulance service for the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs), a senior official said.


Updated:July 28, 2019, 3:13 PM IST
Maiden Air Ambulance Sanctioned for Troops in Anti-Naxal Operations
Photo for representation only (Reuters)

New Delhi: A first-of-its-kind air ambulance service has been sanctioned for troops deployed in anti-Naxal operations and those posted at high-altitude border posts, officials said Sunday.

The ambulance will be on a Mi-17 helicopter platform of the Border Security Force (BSF) and it will be stationed at Jharkhand's capital Ranchi, a recent Union Home Ministry order accessed by PTI said.

A team of doctors, nursing assistants and paramedics have been deputed to round-the-clock man this first "dedicated" air ambulance service for the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs), a senior official said.

Some medical equipment like stabilisers and oxygen cylinders will also be affixed on the chopper, he said.

The CAPFs include the Central Reserve Police Force, Border Security Force, Indo-Tibetan Border Police Force, Central Industrial Security Force, Sashastra Seema Bal and the National Disaster Response Force.

The new facility will help saving the golden hour where a trooper injured in action can be provided quick medical assistance, his blood loss can be arrested so that a precious life is saved, he said.

The service is primarily aimed to serve about a lakh central forces troops who are deployed in the Left Wing Extremism (LWE) grid in various states. It will also cater to state police forces personnel who get injured during operations or are rendered sick during deployment in these hard areas, the official said.

However, the ambulance can also be used to evacuate and provide medical assistance to CAPF personnel deployed in far flung border areas and high-altitude deployment areas, he said.

This is the first time that such a full-time air medical facility has been provided for these forces who are thick in operations, especially in the Naxal violence affected areas, that are marred by problems of sparse medical facilities and connectivity.

As per current practise during casualty evacuation, a team of doctors is sent on a helicopter that picks up and the injured troops and they provide the first aid medical care.

A number of instances have occurred in the past where excessive blood loss due to a grievous injury led to the death of the troops. An air ambulance responding to such a situation will provide basic medical aid to the injured or sick who can further be evacuated to a nearby medical facility, a senior CAPF commander said.

But, these forces need at least two such air ambulances to effectively cater to the medical needs of the troops spread from the remotest location in Chhattisgarh's Bastar area to the Ladakh region in Jammu and Kashmir, the CAPF officer said.

The other such ambulance helicopter could be placed at Raipur in Chhattisgarh as the main action theatre, vis-a-vis Naxal operations, remains the south Bastar area. It will take less time for a helicopter to reach from Raipur rather than Ranchi, he explained.

The Home ministry, as part of the latest order, has directed the BSF air wing to prepare a second air ambulance as soon as it gets the required medical staff.

The BSF operates the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) air wing and a has a fleet of different rotary and fixed-wings aircraft.

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