Adventures of the T-LAV Ambulance
By: Tpr Vanbeek
"NO DUFF! NO DUFF! NO DUFF! JESSE DROP THE RAMP" yells MCpl Rory Adby through the headset. Tpr Jessey Vanbeek jumps up and releases the ramp lock and engages the ramp leaver. The ramp on the back of the T-LAV begins to descend and hits the ground, LS "Dom" Gonthier rushes out the back with his medical kit to tend to the casualty at hand. In seconds a normal hide routine is turned into a real life situation. Its zero to sixty, with lives on the line, its life in an ambulance crew.
Being a member of the Ambulance crew is no easy task. It’s long hours moving with MWO Kevin King’s "Fast Pack." This is a mobile team that follows the battle and provides assistance to any tank or soldier that becomes combat ineffective. It allows soldiers and tanks to be assessed and redeployed to the battlefield as soon as possible. This unit consists of the Sergeant-Major’s T-LAV, Ambulance T-LAV, Weapons Technician’s T-LAV, and the Armoured Recovery Vehicle. The "Fast Pack" stays close behind the battle and is ready to respond to any emergency that may arise.
Having the Ambulance close to where the tanks and soldiers are operating allows quick extraction in an emergency situation and allows life saving first aid to be conducted within seconds. During Exercise MAPLE RESOLVE 15, the Ambulance crew saw more than their fair share of real-life emergencies. On several occasions, the Ambulance rushed casualties to the field hospital or closest medical facility for treatment. From there, an assessment would determine if the casualty could be treated in place or required "Medevac" via Bison or helicopter to another facility. The Ambulance also helps in the treatment of minor injuries like cuts, scrapes, colds, anything that may be affecting a soldier’s ability to fight. Each day saw new patients that needed treatment and advice from the medic.
Fortunately for the soldiers of B Squadron, Leading Seaman Dominique Gonthier was tasked to us from 5 Field Ambulance as the medic. He was very knowledgeable in his trade and could react to any medical situation, all of this done from the back of a confined T-LAV. LS Gonthier also conducted his own medical patrols through hides and harbours. He was able to follow-up on patients and give medical attention to them. He was an essential part of the Ambulance crew and looked after the soldiers of B Squadron.
The T-LAV Ambulance is no easy experience and was an eye-opener to the dangers of training. Being a vehicle apart of the "Fast Pack" it allowed the medic to conduct first aid and life saving procedures to casualties. When it comes to lives on the line with no seconds to spare, you can count on the AMB crew to be there.