Published: February 6, 2013
Burnham paramedic heads to Afghanistan war zone for medical work

A Burnham-On-Sea paramedic is set to return to war-torn Afghanistan this Spring to help train medical staff.

Nich Woolf visited Mazar i Sharif in the north of the country in 2011 when he helped prepare hospital staff to deal with emergencies.

That expertise proved essential just a few months later when a suicide bomb occurred, killing four people and leaving 27 injured.

Nich is now making final preparations to head back to the country during April, alongside Cath Adams, an oral and facial surgeon, to pass on more vital skills.

Nich told "The resuscitation training I gave two years ago worked very well but now we want to put a full training programme in place, so we will be adopting a 'train the trainer' approach and giving the staff new skills of European standards. We will also be working with the staff to produce a new major incident plan to refer to during in emergencies."

He added: "Since pick-up trucks are often used to rush casualties to hospital instead of ambulances this can often worsen their injuries, so we will also be training the police and army on handling patients carefully."

Nich says the benefits of helping staff in the country outweigh the risks of going into the war zone. "It is obviously a riskier country to be than the UK, but I am familiar with the dangers. It is an acceptable risk."

Nich, who is a founder member of Festival Medical Services (FMS), a registered charity which raises money for medical causes around the world and he will be taking medical equipment donated by the charity with him.

He is also working with a charity founded by former ITN newscaster Sandy Gall, which provides medical assistance and rehabilitation for victims of war and terrorism.

Meanwhile, Nich has asked for anyone who can translate the Afghan language of Dari into English to contact him via here since the team needs to translate documentation.


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