By Cpl. Sbastien Pisani
First published in
SFOR Informer#108, March 7, 2001
Manjaca - This was a real blood bath. The snow on
the verge of the road, the canvas cover of the truck and the windows
of the cabin were covered with haemoglobin. The groans of the
casualties have not been forgotten for a realistic performance.
Those taking parts at the Blue Light exercise waited impatiently
for the medical teams arriving from the British camps of Mrkonjic
Grad and Sipovo.
scenario is very simple. A troop transportation vehicle detonated
a mine and it came off the road under the explosion impact. The
ten men on board are all hurt, among whom some are seriously injured,
said Capt. Neil Opie, in charge of reporting the state of health
of each victim. The situation is critical, as two soldiers of
the 2nd Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment each lost a limb at
the time of the crash.
military police patrol from Mrkonjic Grad located the damaged
truck on Donkey road, some kilometres South from Banja Luka. The
alarm was immediately raised. We deployed the full plan
of action. A medical team arrived with ambulance from Mrkonjic
Grad, while another team accompanied by de-mining elements came
from Sipovo with two Dutch helicopters, said Capt. Opie.
Adam Vizard and his de-mining dog Roly progressed
cautiously to the British truck. It was necessary to check that
no other mines were nearby. At last a way was cleared, into which
doctors and nurses rushed. Where is my leg? screamed
a man wearing a false imitation representing the damages due to
a mine explosion. It was not easy reassuring the casualties while
giving first aid in that rickety vehicle where the blood covering
the clothes brought about difficult diagnosis.
some minutes the first victims were laid on shafts carried by
soldiers coming in support. This is Chris, take him back
to the ambulances! ordered Cpl. Appleby, who co-ordinated
the rescue near the truck. Comforting words were covered with
the roar of one of the helicopters taking off to Sipovo hospital.
In a quarter of an hour all the casualties were evacuated.
The helicopter transporting the last severely wounded person
leaves, said the Dutch Cpl. Morvan Ernest Juan Dreischor
to the hospital with his mobile communication unit.
men train very often, that's why the intervention has been so
speedy. Our collaboration with the Dutch helicopters is important:
we have learnt to work together, which could be very useful in
case of problems, said Capt. Opie.
Nations of SFOR: UK, Netherland
Training and Exercises