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Navy medics 'perform' surgery at sea

INF holds exercise simulating mid-ocean emergency surgery; sailors' rescue off burning ship

Yoav Zitun
Published: 12.23.12, 10:16 / Israel News

The Israel Navy (INF) held a special exercise recently, simulating a direct hit to a combat vessel.

 

INF sailors, Reserves' paramedics and military medical personnel participated in the drill, which simulated the complex scenario of evacuating naval forces off a burning ship under enemy fire, moving them to a rescue vessel and performing emergency surgery at sea.  

 

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The military routinely dispatches ambulances and medevacs to treat and evacuate injured IDF troops on the ground, but such operations at sea are much more difficult.

 

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Given the innate complexities of evacuating wounded sailors, the defense establishment decided to hold a drill meant to focus on such scenarios.

 

As part of the drill, the INF dispatched emergency teams aboard a missile boat to "evacuate" sailors off a supposedly-burning Dvora patrol boat, "stranded" several miles off shore.

 

Troops transferred the sailors to the missile ship via rafters. A medical bay was set up on the missile boat, where doctors fought for the life of a seriously wounded sailor – played by a "smart mannequin."

 

Smart mannequins, or robotic mannequins, were introduced in the IDF in 2010, with the aim of helping the Medical Corps offer paramedics and soldiers better first aid and triage training.

 

"We dispatched an emergency medical team to the Dvora. They arrived within minutes and performed initial triage, determining who can receive medial attention on site, who can be airlifted to hospitals and who needs immediate surgery," Lt.-Col. Dr. Benny, the INF's chief medial officer, told Ynet.

 

"This is a new concept in our training," he added.

 

Fighting at sea is never easy, he said, and cases involving wounded troops present complex scenarios: "This exercise means to have us ready for wartime, operations, an emergency situation such as a civilian ship in need of immediate assistance, as well as routine assignments."

 

 

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