Calgary airport home to new emergency field hospital

With new conflicts and natural disaster arising almost constantly across the globe, Calgary will soon be better prepared to provide critical emergency relief.

On Tuesday morning, Samaritan’s Purse launched a new emergency field hospital at YYC International Airport, which will be used to provide critical aid during times of crisis.

The tent facility is the first of its kind in Canada, and will have customizable units with an emergency room, laboratory, surgical facilities, and everything needed for inpatient and outpatient care during international crisis.

Emergency field hospitals have been used numerous times before, according to Samaritan’s Purse spokesperson Frank King. But, this new development means for the first time ever, equipment will be deployed from Canada.

“We had one in New York City during COVID-19, we had one in Italy during COVID-19, we had one in Turkey during the earthquake there, we had one just outside of Mosul in Iraq when ISIS and the Iraqi forces were fighting for control of that city,” he said. “We’ve had them in various other places around the world, but they’ve always been deployed out of our U.S. offices and we’ve always contributed some nurses and doctors to that.”

Calgary’s new resources will mean Canadians can be involved like never before.

“The difference here is that Samaritan’s Purse Canada will be deploying this emergency field hospital. We will be in charge of it, Canadians will be running the show,” King said. “There will be more Canadians on staff, so it will be, sort-of, an all-Canadian deployment.”

Also, for the first time ever, deployments will consist entirely of Canadians, which means the organization is looking for doctors, nurses, and other medical personnel that are willing to put themselves on a roster for potential short-term deployments in times of crisis.

“If there are doctors and nurses who would like to make themselves available — because what happens is we hire doctors and nurses on short-term contracts to do this work,” King said. “These things tend to be very major deployments that last usually for a month or more.”

Anyone interested in signing up can do so on the Samaritan’s Purse website.

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