CFHS personnel return from Iraq

Canadian Armed Forces medical personnel take part in a simulated patient training exercise at the Role 2 Hospital in Erbil, Iraq, on January 23, 2017. SGT Josephine Carlson, US Army ***Des membres du personnel médical des Forces armées canadiennes participent à un exercice de formation avec des pseudo-patients à l’hôpital de rôle 2, à Erbil, en Irak, le 23 janvier 2017. SGT Josephine Carlson, US Army

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By Kim Fauteux, CFHS PA

Most of the Canadian Forces Health Services (CFHS) personnel who were deployed to Erbil, Iraq, as part of the Role 2 Medical Treatment Facility have returned home, after a US Medical Unit took over Command of the Role 2 in March 2019.

More than 200 CFHS members were deployed on OP IMPACT over its five rotations, after the Role 2 assumed leadership of clinical operations from the US Forward Surgical Team and declared Initial Operating Capability on 7 November 2016.

While deployed, the primary responsibility of CFHS members was to provide damage control resuscitation and surgery for members of the Coalition or any other injured personnel brought to that facility through the coalition medical evacuation system. Members also worked in intensive care, diagnostic imaging, medical laboratory and blood banking, patient administration and movement, among other tasks.

During the 5 rotations of this CAF-led Role 2, the teams saw well over 2800 patients for varying issues, including 1600 dental patients. The dental team will remain in place to support the US Medical Unit that recently took command. LCol Goulet, who was the Commanding Officer of the Role 2 during the fourth rotation, shared her thoughts about the preparation and work as military medical personnel on missions. “The hard work preparing for a mission and ongoing clinical training and education is essential. We train, we learn, and we deploy as experts in what we do so soldiers can do what the mission requires knowing we are here when they need us; we are ready. Our multinational and multidisciplinary teams at the Role 2 were top notch and the care we provided was fantastic.”   

Although the Role 2 has closed, CAF Health Services personnel continue to deploy on operations. Recently, we have seen about 100 Health Services members deployed on 10 different international operations around the world, including several locations in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and in Asia, along with support to our CAF ships at sea extending from the Mediterranean Sea to the Indian, Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. In addition, 83 CAF Health Services members also deployed as part of the teams responding to the recent floods in New Brunswick, Quebec and Ontario. 

CFHS provides health services across Canada and overseas to Canadian military personnel and to any other populations as directed by the Minister of National Defence.

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