Czech soldier saves life of American colleague in Sinai

 06. 01. 2024      category: Events
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A member of the Czech CASA unit, Warrant Officer J. M., saved the life of an American soldier who had suffered a sudden cardiac collapse with his quick and prompt intervention. At the Egyptian MFO base, he and two other Americans provided pre-medical care to the sick man and assisted in transferring him to an ambulance. The Czech soldier was recognized for his actions by the Chief of the General Staff of the Czech Army, Lt. Gen. Karel Řehka.

Foto: Český voják na Sinaji zachránil život americkému kolegovi (ilustrační foto) | AČR
Picture: Czech soldier saves life of American colleague in Sinai | Czech Army

"I noticed the lifeless body of a member of the mission, with another American soldier already kneeling beside it. The man was not breathing. While the American soldier ran for an automatic defibrillator, I initiated cardiopulmonary resuscitation and continued it until he returned with another American colleague. After the second discharge, we palpated the lying man's heartbeat and handed him over to medics when the ambulance arrived," recounted Sgt.

The Czech soldier is an instructor of the Rescue and Airborne Training Section of the Training Command - Military Academy in Vyškov and was working with the 24th CASA unit in Egypt, for which he was providing the so-called Personnel Recovery, i.e. rescue of persons separated from the unit. "If an individual or group becomes separated in any way, i.e. becomes isolated, we initiate the established procedures and measures that lead to their return to the unit," explains Warrant Officer J.M.

This was his third mission. He has previously deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. It was in that country that he was wounded and escaped with a good deal of luck. Now that he has helped save someone else's life, he sees it as a symbolic repayment of a debt.

He sees the experience he gained from more than 20 years in the army as crucial. "Thanks to the good training system that our army has set up in this area, I got the hang of what to do and how to proceed at that moment. The lion's share of my preparation was mainly due to the rescue and airborne training section in Vyškov and the battalion dressing station of the 71st Mechanised Battalion in Hranice na Moravě," says Warrant Officer J. M.

In addition to foreign missions, he draws experience from the Canadian Arctic Survival Course on Resolute Island in Cornwallis, Canada, where he was the first member of the Army of the Czech Republic to be deployed in 2017. The theme was to simulate the movement of survivors after a plane crash to a designated pickup point, the very area of "Personnel Recovery" that he also secured in Sinai. "It is the climatic conditions and training in temperatures as low as minus 53 degrees Celsius in Canada, together with the extreme conditions in plus temperatures for a change in Sinai that I see as invaluable experience for my work," describes Warrant Officer J. M.

For saving his life, Warrant Officer J.M. was awarded by the Chief of the General Staff of the Army of the Czech Republic, Lieutenant General Karel Rehka, upon his return. During the ceremony at Vítkov he awarded him a plaque thanking him for his selfless attitude, conscientious conduct and highly professional performance in saving human life.

Foto: Za záchranu života byl praporčík J. M. po svém návratu oceněn náčelníkem Generálního štábu Armády České republiky generálporučíkem Karlem Řehkou | Jan Schejbal
Picture: For saving his life, Warrant Officer J. M. was awarded by the Chief of the General Staff of the Army of the Czech Republic, Lieutenant General Karel Řehka, upon his return | Jan Schejbal

Multinational Force and Observers (MFO)

The Multinational Force and Observers (MFO), based in Rome, was established as a result of the peace agreement between Egypt and Israel in August 1981, when the State of Israel returned the Sinai to Egypt. The main objective of the organization, and its mission in Sinai (since April 1982), is to supervise compliance with the security conditions of the peace agreement. The task of the air unit is to monitor the situation in the area of operation, together with the international observers on board the aircraft, and to provide transportation of persons and material for the benefit of the IFO mission. The Czech unit with CASA C-295M aircraft has been operating within the Sinai mission since 2003.

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