Saturday, January 16, 2010

While Canada Prepares, Israeli Field Hospital Already Treating Patients In Haiti

It's hard to accept that Canada's vaunted DART unit has already been upstaged by an Israeli army field hospital which began operations Saturday. Israel, a country one-fifth the size of Canada and located thousands of kilometres farther away from Haiti than Canada is giving our military a powerful lesson in planning, logistics and execution. The hospital is the largest and most sophisticated unit to deploy in Haiti so far.
"The Israeli hospital, located in the city's football arena, is equipped with operating theaters, intensive care units, laboratories, an X-ray facility and pharmacy, which were carried in by El Al cargo. A third of the medical team of 40 doctors, 20 paramedics and nurses plus technical staff are reservists who volunteered for the Haiti disaster relief team. Working flat out, they will treat 500 patients a day." DEBKAfile
The Israeli aid delegation landed in Port-au-Prince on Friday night. About 220 military personnel are in the delegation, which includes 120 medical personnel. An Israel Defence Force airplane loaded with equipment landed shortly after.
Watch a video report on the field hospital HERE

Aside from the medical team the Israelis have also deployed three search a rescue teams made up of rescue officers, security officers, and the famous Oketz canine unit which utilizes dogs in order to find survivors.

Perhaps Canada should give the Israeli military a consulting contract on how to deploy quickly and how to do disaster relief properly.
While Canada is a short 3½ hour flight from Haiti and it's military is in possession of a couple of giant new C-17 transport airplanes, little seems to have been accomplished except for the evacuation of Canadian nationals.
In the meantime the eight hundred soldiers scheduled to leave for Haiti are cooling their heels in their base in Valcartier, Quebec, while the Israelis are already hard at work.

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