Canadian Medical Emergency Response Team completes aeromedical evacuation course

Operational Readiness Aeromedical Course (ORAC) students, instructors and support staff posing in front of a CH-147 Chinook.
Operational Readiness Aeromedical Course (ORAC) students, instructors and support staff posing in front of a CH-147 Chinook. Photo: Corporal J. Smith

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From November 19 to 30, 2018, Canadian Medical Emergency Response Team (CMERT) personnel deployed on Operation PRESENCE Roto 1 participated in the Operational Readiness Aeromedical Course (ORAC) at 450 Tactical Helicopter Squadron (THS).

The ORAC is a clinically focused Forward Aeromedical Evacuation (Fwd AE) course, instructed by physicians and nurses of the Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNLAF).

For the first time in the Canadian Forces Health Services Group (CF H Svcs Gp), training was exclusively provided to CF H Svcs personnel, in Canada, by a training cadre made up entirely of instructors from another country.

Many of the RNLAF instructors have ties to the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) as graduates of the aeromedical evacuation course provided by CF H Svcs Gp and Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) personnel at 426 Squadron, Trenton.

This unique partnership provided the CMERT the opportunity to experience high quality training, close to home, on CAF aircraft – the CH-147 Chinook. CF H Svcs and 450 THS personnel supported the course by providing liaisons, casualty simulation, and aircraft and crew.

Image gallery

  • ORAC Students conducting an in-flight medical scenario
  • Operational Readiness Aeromedical Course (ORAC) students, instructors and support staff posing in front of a CH-147 Chinook.

Teams received a series of lectures, static medical scenarios and flying medical scenarios comprised of a variety of illnesses and injuries. CMERT students were challenged throughout, demonstrating their clinical acumen and team work.

As Fwd AE is a relatively new capability for the RCAF and CF H Svcs Gp, the course was a welcome opportunity to invite a military ally to share their expertise and contribute to the preparedness of the CMERT for their upcoming deployment.

CMERT students will take the lessons and experiences from the ORAC with them on their deployment to Mali, and bring new experiences and lessons learned back to Canada to share and contribute to the further development of the Fwd AE capability.

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