Military airbuses could transport even the seriously injured

Autor: Oldřich Holeček

If situation dictated, Airbus aircraft could transport from Japan to the Czech Republic even injured persons. The aircraft interior can be adjusted to accommodate up to six sick beds.

Deputy Commander of the 241st Transportation Squadron Major Josef Karbulka explains: “Till now, we have transported this way sick or injured soldiers only from Afghanistan, but it is not the sole rule, in case of need we can transport any citizen of the Czech Republic”.

The Airbus A-319CJ can be very quickly rebuilt for this purpose. “The full version, which includes two beds for seriously injured and four stretchers, is finished within some four or five hours,” reveals Captain Zdenek Spacek, flight commander of the 241st Transportation Squadron. The Airbus offers also additional rearrangements of its interior – four stretchers and one bed for a seriously injured person.

The area earmarked for the sick ones does not take more than a half of the “entrails” of the plane; the second half is for the rest of passengers. “But six beds is the maximum capacity,” explains Captain Spacek adding: “The interior of the aircraft is pre-equipped for all versions and everything is described and sketched in a manufacture´s documentation.”

The STRATEVAC (Strategic Evacuation), that is in Czech the transportation of injured soldiers back to the Czech Republic, is provided by the 241st Transportation Squadron from Prague-Kbely airport in cooperation with medical personnel of the Air Rescue Service from Pilsen-Line base. They have the same 120-minute readiness, it means they must start planning the transport within two hours because they take care of patients during the whole transport. “We take special medical instruments along with us, which are attached to beds prior to the departure, and all other necessary material,” medic Warrant Officer Jaroslav Ceperko says.

Both doctors and nurses must not miss anything – just to take one dose of a medicine less by mistake could have tragic consequences. “Flights are as long as even seven hours without any stopover so you do not have any chance to complement any material. Therefore we do our best in preparation of these flights,” Jaroslav Ceperko adds.

Before each flight, doctors finds the condition of patients, and whether a specialist would not be needed. “Normally, two doctors and three nurses fly, but if a medical team decides, other specialists can be boarded, for example from the Central Military Hospital in Prague or from other military hospitals,” Warrant Officer Ceperko describes.

The most modern instruments are available for medics to use aboard the aircraft during flight, the same ones which are at Intensive Care Units at normal hospitals. The defibrillator, life functions monitor, breathing apparatus, infusion pump or a suction device – all these instruments are powered by aircraft sources.

But not only airbuses can transport sick or injured persons; the same can be done by newly acquired CASA aircraft. “The system has universal use in both types of aircraft,” Major Josef Karbulka confirms.

Posted: March 26, 2011