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Just over one year of being accredited as an International EMT Type 1 facility, the Barbados Defence Force’s Field Medical Facility (BDF FMF) is seeking to achieve its Type 2 accreditation.

This new status if achieved, would enable the emergency medical team to operate as a full general hospital when responding to emergencies, disasters and pandemics.

Under its present Type 1 accreditation, the team can provide mainly outpatient care, stabilisation and referral of major trauma cases. It has also provided logistical and medical support to Barbados during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Speaking on day two of the exercise, Colonel (retired) Florence Gittens, explained that the BDF FMF was currently engaged in Exercise Nightengale 2020 at the BDF’s Paragon base.

This, she said, was to ensure the completion of Type 1 training for new volunteers was done in accordance with the FMF’s Standard Operating Procedures and Guidelines, and to expose all participants to the requirements for the World Health Organization Type 2 EMT.

“It’s a learning exercise for all of us. We never set up a Type 2 before. A Type 2 is a full general hospital. The Type 1 is really a polyclinic. We are progressing. The idea is to set it up to see what equipment is lacking and write the Standard Operating Procedures for each department and also we are looking for more staff,” she said.

During the six-day exercise, 40 tents will be erected to facilitate medical, obstetrics, surgical, wards, labs, pharmacy, triage, morgue, waiting room, accommodation, and kitchen functions among others. In addition, the team will review the Standard Operating Procedures.

The team received its Type 1 accreditation in September 2019, following intense verification checks of its Standard Operating Procedures, financing, medical procedures policies, structures and physical set-up by teams from the Pan American Health Organization.


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