IntlSOS 30 Years - From East to West - Page 111

06 Any Time, Any Place | Our First Mass Evacuation
Our First
Mass Evacuation
Fact No. 18
We have helped our
members using speedboats,
4x4 off-road vehicles,
snowmobiles, a hovercraft
in a mangrove swamp,
mules and more.
In 1994 our capabilities were put to the test with
a mass evacuation. In Bali, a group of elderly
French and Belgian tourists were travelling in a
mountainous area when their coach tumbled into a
ravine from a road on the side of a volcano. Many
of the passengers were injured, some seriously, with
multiple fractures. A number of people died at the
scene. A French insurance company representing
some of the passengers quickly contacted us and
the Singapore Assistance Centre took over
responsibility for organising the evacuation.
Knowing that local medical facilities were limited and
overwhelmed, the decision was made to bring all the
survivors to Singapore for treatment of their injuries.
This meant calling in our teams in Jakarta and Bali.
The Singapore and Bali teams triaged the patients
– assessing and stabilising their injuries and
prioritising the order and urgency of treatment –
ready for evacuation. The Jakarta team organised
and equipped a medium sized Fokker 50 aircraft and
converted it into a multi-patient air ambulance by
removing and replacing half the seats with stretchers.
Roger and Patrick were part of the medical
team sent from Singapore. They took with them vital
medical equipment, including 15 stretchers. Dr Farrow
directed the triage and the patients were prepared
for transport. Meanwhile, our logistics teams sorted
out passports and other travel documents in
collaboration with the insurance company and the
relevant consul in Bali. Upon arrival in Singapore, 14
ambulances were ready and waiting. Just 20 hours
from the time we received that first call, all the
patients were safely in a Singapore hospital.
Clockwise from top left:
Bali bus crash scene,
Indonesia, January 1994;
chartered plane, Jakarta
airport; outfitting the
plane; loading up patients;
attending patients;
ambulances on arrival
in Singapore.
Right: Dr Roger Farrow,
air ambulance evacuation
of a baby from Jakarta to
Singapore for intensive
neo-natal care, 1995.


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