Medical treatment at the front lines

Department of Defence

As a 9-liner came in over the radio, the treatment team of the Role 1 Light Manoeuvre prepared for the incoming casualty.

A stretcher was pulled off the back of the G-Wagon and set up while roll bags with medical supplies and equipment hung from the side.

With an oxygen tank placed by the side of the stretcher, the set up under cam nets between two G-Wagons was ready for treatment in 10 minutes.

The Role 1 Light Manoeuvre is a decreased size health capability, allowing medical specialists to be closer to the front line meaning a faster assessment of casualties.

For nursing officer Lieutenant Kelsie Brodribb, the quick set up allows her and her team to be prepared for the inbound patient.

“The Role 1 Light Manoeuvre means we don’t have all the bulky equipment,” Lieutenant Brodribb said.

“If we need to move away from our set up to the front line, we can move quick in a PMV-A to the casualty and then back to the Role 1 for further treatment.”

A roll bag contains everything from medicinal treatment of bites and stings to SAM seals, and is all kept within a pelican case individual to each of the medics.

With the cases labelled A, B, C – for airways, breathing and circulation – each designated case has a roll bag with the treatment for the sustained injury.

Stored like a small sleeping bag, it has individual pouches on the inside holding all necessary equipment.

“The manoeuvrability is the best thing about it – I can just grab what I need and still provide a Role 1 capability,” Lieutenant Brodribb said.

“Being able to set up in 10 minutes is incredible to both the team and the patient, meaning we can pull in and have it set up to provide that immediate treatment.”

After completing her Bachelor of Nursing at the University of Western Sydney, Lieutenant Brodribb posted to 4th Health Battalion and was attached to the Role 1 Light Manoeuvre on Exercise Brolga Run in June.

Deploying to Manus Island, Papua New Guinea, in 2023 to support 3rd Combat Engineer Regiment, she said it was an eye-opening experience that made her very comfortable working in a field environment.

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