Indian Army

Anti-Naxal ops: CRPF to turn choppers into air ambulances to save troops

Over a dozen helicopters operating in the country’s anti-Naxal operations grid are being retrofitted by the CRPF with air ambulance-like facilities as part of a maiden initiative to reduce casualties of its troops and other personnel, officials said on Monday.

A specialised training module for helicopter-based air ambulance services, for the force’s doctors and paramedical staff, was launched on Monday at a CRPF camp in Jagdalpur in Chhattisgarh, they said.

The officials said as the in-service choppers only have basic medicines and doctors on-board when on a ‘mission sortie’ to evacuate a seriously wounded or ill personnel, administering quick specialised medical care in the air is not possible.

The time taken in the entire process of lifting injured personnel and getting them admitted to a hospital leads to instances of excessive blood loss and also losing the ‘golden hour’ to save a person hit in operation.

A senior official told PTI the new CRPF chief, A P Maheshwari, has now directed that over a dozen choppers, drawn from the IAF and the BSF, will be “retro-fitted” with air ambulance-like facilities so that as soon as they lift an injured or ill personnel the doctors on-board can give them “vital life saving treatment” with the help of dedicated medical equipment.

“When a trooper injured in an anti-Maoist operation or someone seriously ill in a similar remote location is to be evacuated, a fixed-wing air ambulance is sent in.

But they can only go upto major locations where there is a tarmac or landing strip and cannot land in a jungle or makeshift helipad like a chopper does.

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