05 February 2010


Kansas civil engineers build hospital in Haiti

By Tech. Sgt. Emily Alley
Kansas National Guard

Click photo for screen-resolution image
Lt. Col. Mark Green (center), commander of the Kansas Air National Guard's 190th Civil Engineering Squadron deployed to Haiti, demonstrates the proper technique for anchoring an Expeditionary Medical Support (EMEDS) hospital. Green, who commanded the Guardsmen who built an EMEDS after a devastating tornado in Greensburg, Kan., in 2007, is one of 46 Kansas Guardsmen deployed to build infrastructure for sustained operations in Haiti. (Photo by Tech. Sgt. Emily Alley, Kansas National Guard)

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, (2/1/10) - The bright clothing, smiles and conversation could be taking place in any hospital lobby in the world. Patients are being admitted, treated and released.

But a flurry of French and the grinding of a helicopter nearby betray the reality - this is Haiti.

A brutal sun burns over the tent, while the floor is dust and rock. The patients are earthquake survivors, who have just been flown from the USNS Comfort, the Navy's 1000-bed floating hospital that has been deployed here. A handful of Navy translators are helping them to find rides back to their families.

The Comfort is working at its full operational capacity for the first time in its service, and it would take a hundred more ships to treat all the estimated wounded in Haiti, officials said.

To help relieve the stress and suffering, civil engineers from the Kansas Air National Guard are working to expand one of the medical triage facilities in Port-au-Prince by assembling an Expeditionary Medical Support (EMEDS) hospital.

With the EMEDS in place, medics will be able to ease the pressure from the Comfort by performing minor surgery and 24-hour operations without transporting patients to the Comfort.

The Guardsmen are also building a helicopter landing pad to help transport more severely injured patients to and from the ship....

There is more here.

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