April 20, 2015
OTTAWA — The third group of Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) personnel on Operation SIRONA departed the United Kingdom (UK) today for Kerry Town, Sierra Leone. The members deploy to West Africa following extensive training alongside their British military counterparts and in continued support of the Government of Canada’s response to the Ebola epidemic.
This rotation will relieve the second group of CAF military doctors, nurses, medics, and support and command staff at the UK’s Kerry Town Treatment Unit. Canadians are working alongside their British counterparts in providing essential medical care to local and international healthcare workers who have been exposed to the Ebola virus disease.
In providing much needed frontline care to patients in West Africa, CAF healthcare professionals are making a significant and direct impact in the fight against the Ebola epidemic.
Operation SIRONA augments the United Kingdom’s (UK) Operation GRITROCK at the Kerry Town Treatment Unit in Sierra Leone.
The new command team, led by Lieutenant-Colonel Colleen Forestier, will assume command and begin operations following a period of acclimatization and detailed handover of responsibilities.
Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) personnel deploying to Sierra Leone are expertly prepared. Before deploying to West Africa, CAF members train at the state-of-the-art British Army Medical Services Training Centre in Strensall, UK, alongside their British military counterparts.
Personnel in this third rotation are from 1 Canadian Field Hospital, Garrison Petawawa, and various other locations across Canada.
“Canada is steadfast in its support to the global effort to contain the spread of Ebola in West Africa. Through the vital work of Canadian Armed Forces healthcare professionals lives are being saved.”
The Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of National Defence
“All Canadians should be tremendously proud of the work that CAF medical personnel are accomplishing in Sierra Leone. I saw first-hand in Kerry Town the intense environment in which they are working, including the physical and psychological stresses they endure, to treat infected patients and help prevent the spread of this deadly contagious virus. Their seamless integration with British forces supports a stronger synergistic bi-national response, and strengthens our friendship and medical inter-operability with one of our closest allies.”
Brigadier-General Jean-Robert Bernier, Surgeon General, Commander Canadian Forces Health Services Group
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Department of National Defence