Doctors and nurses from the Barbados Defence Force’s (BDF) Field Medical Facility (FMF) were activated just after 11:30 a.m. today as the La Soufriere volcano in St. Vincent and the Grenadines “erupted”, during a simulation exercise.
The FMF team, stationed in the safe zone at the Biabou Playing Field in St. Vincent, immediately shifted into high gear as the first ambulance arrived with three patients – one male and two females – as part of the exercise simulation.
While an asthma patient was treated and discharged, a pregnant woman in labour and a male patient suffering a heart attack were treated, stabilized and transferred to the hospital for further care.
It was not long before additional patients arrived at the facility, presenting with a number of “injuries arising from the volcanic eruption”.
Project Manager FMF, Major Junior Browne, explained that the exercise saw the facility pre-deploying from Barbados, due to volcanic activity.
Commander of the FMF, Major Marilyn Patrick, said assistance was sought from Barbados to send the facility to assist with the recovery of any victims or casualties that would fall out from the volcanic eruption.
“We can take 100 persons per day and deal with those suffering with minor injuries, but anything beyond that, we will have to refer to the authorities for more advanced care,” she said, amidst the hustle and bustle at the camp.
The BDF FMF is set up with a triage, a pharmacy, and waiting, treatment, shock, obstetrics, sterilization and discharge areas.