06 November 2010

Landstuhl hospital: "The German front in the Afghanistan and Iraq wars"

In this video, Canadian Chief Petty Officer 2nd Class Andrew Tiffin, an EOD Tech, recounts the events that led to his injury from Landstuhl Regional Medical Center.

The accompanying story is called Wounded Canadians find a piece of home at German hospital.

RAMSTEIN AIR FORCE BASE, GERMANY—Standing in the bitterly cold wind blowing across the airstrip, Master Cpl. Karen Dickie waits for the giant C-17 aircraft to open its jaws.

After a few abortive tries, the mouth of the massive U.S. air ambulance opens and a whoosh of cool German air hits the faces of soldiers, acclimatized to the desert heat, as they lie on their stretchers.

Dickie, a Canadian Forces medic, walks up the metal ramp and scans the stretchers laid out in front of her in search of Toronto Chief Petty Officer 2nd Class Andrew Tiffin. The naval diver was flown out of Kandahar eight hours earlier, after a bomb blew up in his hands.

Dickie is stationed at the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, the casualty hub for NATO troops airlifted from combat. She is one of eight specially trained Canadian soldiers whose sole purpose is to move our wounded from the battleground to this German safe haven before being flown home for further care.

She finds Tiffin, conscious and alert but with blackened, injured hands, and introduces herself. She explains he’s been brought here to Landstuhl, a giant trauma hospital deep in the heart of the Black Forest.

Landstuhl is often referred to as the German front in the Afghanistan and Iraq wars.

Plane after plane of critically injured, baby-faced soldiers breathing on portable ventilators arrive daily suffering from blast injuries, severe burns and missing limbs.

All day, seven days a week, massive C-17 cargo carriers, each able to move nearly 80 injured soldiers in seats and stacked on stretchers three deep, land at Ramstein and are bused 15 minutes down the road to Landstuhl.

Since 2004, the hospital has cared for 65,000 patients — soldiers, diplomats, journalists — from 45 coalition nations.

Read the rest of Tiffin's and Dickie's stories in this inspiring story from the Toronto Star. And, as always, we're proud to stand with you, Canada!

1 comment:

Maggie Goff said...

Thanks for posting this, MaryAnn. As usual, what he said at the end really got to me. Thank God for men like this. And YAY CANADA!!<span> </span>