The objective of the visit was to get acquainted with the operations and techniques related to the deployment of a field hospital in the context of a possible health crisis in Eeyou Istchee.
As part of the Cree Nation of Chisasibi and Canadian Red Cross Partnership Project for Health in Emergencies, representatives of the Cree Board of Health and Social Services of James Bay (CBHSSJB) visited a Canadian Red Cross (CRC) Emergency Response Unit (ERU) in Schomberg, Ontario.
ERUs are standardized packages ready to be deployed in remote areas with state-of-the-art equipment and trained personnel to provide vital medical and healthcare aid to anyone affected by disasters and emergencies. These units can also temporarily replace damaged infrastructures with logistical, communication, clean water and sanitation support.
The Cree Nation of Chisasibi and Canadian Red Cross Partnership Project for Health in Emergencies is now at the preliminary stage. The partnership project is studying the feasibility of the development and the deployment of a joint mobile emergency non-surgical hospital for the Cree Nation of Chisasibi. “This is part of the CBHSSJB emergency planning process,” adds Coonishish.
Discussions are in progress and hospital staff could originate primarily from the CBHSSBJ and receive training from the Canadian Red Cross. Trained CBHSSBJ staff would also be eligible for deployments with the Red Cross in Canada and overseas.
Mobile emergency hospital services could also be offered to other communities located in northern Canada, from the 49th parallel up to the Arctic.
In the photo, representatives of the Cree Nation of Chisasibi and the Canadian Red Cross, front row, from left to right: Maurice Napash, Chisasibi Fire Department Chief; Jason Coonishish, CBHSSBJ Coordinator of Pre-Hospital and Emergency Measures; Arlen Dumas, Grand Chief of Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs; Bella Moses Petawabano, CBHSSBJ Chairperson of the Board of Directors; Daniel St-Amour, CBHSSJB Executive Director; Shawn Feely, CRC Vice-President for Manitoba and Nunavut; Dr. Anne Foro, CBHSSJB Director of Program Planning.
Back row, from left to right: Dr. Hossam Elsharkawi, CRC Vice-President for International Operations; Rachel Meagher, CRC Senior Manager, Health in Emergencies; Laure Béziers, CBHSSBJ Planning, Program and Research Officer; Alexandre Léveillé, CBHSSBJ Current and ambulatory services nurse counsellor; Jean-Philippe Tizi, CRC Chief of Operations; Brian Wadden, Chisasibi Public Safety Officer; Conrad Sauvé, CRC President and CEO; Natalie Ballantyne, Policy Advisor to the Grand Chief of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs; Pascal Mathieu, CRC Vice-President for Québec.
“In emergency situations, always expect the unexpected” - Jason Coonishish, CBHSSBJ Coordinator of Pre-Hospital and Emergency Measures.