Diver medics help fight Covid-19

DIVING NEWS

Diver medics help fight Covid-19

ICU
Picture: RCP Basheer.

Hundreds of commercial-diving medical support staff have been volunteering to reinforce the National Health Service in its battle to treat the most seriously affected Covid-19 patients.

A risk-management company called AMDP Response Development has been leading the recruitment campaign and is still looking for more help from certified diver medical technicians (DMTs), life support technicians (LSTs) and offshore medics (OMs).

“The NHS is stretched and patients need care,” it says. “DMTs and OMs deal with mixed-gas life-support and are well placed to make a great contribution to the Covid-19 response.”

Its campaign is being coordinated by Dr Michael Von Bertele, a former director general of British Army Medical Services and humanitarian director of the charity Save the Children International.

He says that assistance was initially offered to the NHS as a whole and the administrators of the ExCel and NEC Nightingale emergency hospitals, and that it was agreed to undertake recruitment and enabling fast-track training of the technicians. 

The volunteers, already trained to understand the effects of gases under pressure, though usually supplied through a mask rather than a ventilator, are told to expect to undertake a “short period” of training before being assigned to operational tasks.

12 April 2020

They would normally be employed by diving contractors and offshore operators, with which AMDP works “to enable safe, efficient operations”, but most commercial-diving operations are currently suspended.

Volunteers might go on to become paid staff, according to AMDP, though “the details are not yet clear”.

More information about volunteering is available here.

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