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Courses offered in September - Decmber 2011 :
Never Stand Still
Business Services Unit
Army September 29, 2011
Beware of other 'enemies'
Deployed personnel must also protect against
disease and injury. Medic Cpl Carmel Barratt
speaks to Sgt Andrew Hetherington.
Life-saving tips: Cpl Carmel Barratt renders first-aid as part of her pre-
deployment training classes.
Bill blogs in the 'zone'
MOVE over Rob de Castella
-- the Adonis is back.
Not only did I complete
a 5km Canberra Times fun
run and family walk on
September 11 in under 35
minutes (which was my
aim), but I finished it with
heaps of energy in the tank.
I surprised myself that the
Cliff Young shuffle turned
into the Yiannis Kouros jog.
It felt great passing other competitors
on the way, knowing that two months
ago I would have walked the event.
My momentum and pace were per-
fectly aligned. I was in the 'zone', a
place I had never been in before and,
you know what, it felt great.
My eight-year-old daughter, Amelia,
and 10-year-old son, Simeon, finished
the run with me. We worked our way
through the 600-plus crowd and by the
finish line we were in the top 200.
At the start line, I caught up with other
Defence members and their families.
In fact, one of the guys
aid he saw me finish the run
nd mentioned that it looked
like I had an abundance of
He suggested that per-
haps next year I should
tackle the 10km run instead.
It was an amazing feeling
rossing the finish line -- to
me I didn't come in 200th, I
came in first.
As we come into the last few months
of the 'Join Bill Challenge', I encour-
age members undertaking their weight-
loss campaigns to update us on their
Please email and tell us how you are
going, as we would like to publish some
of your results.
For the time being, it's back to the
running track for me.
Email Bill at vasilis.solomou@defencenews.
On ya dad: Bill
and his children,
Amelia 8 and
Simeon 10, after
the fun run.
WHEN ADF person-
nel deploy on overseas
operations they usually
know who their enemy
But it's the unknown enemy -- dis-
eases and injuries -- that many person-
nel don't consider before they deploy
but which, in some cases, can end up
crippling them as badly as a gunshot
Since 2009, the medical team post-
ed to 39 PSB has briefed over 12,000
deploying personnel on potential
Cpl Carmel Barratt runs health and
medical lectures in addition to hands
on first-aid training during force prep-
"I give lectures covering health
and hygiene, first-aid revision and
Care of Battle Casualty for all opera-
tions including the Middle East Area
of Operations, East Timor and the
Solomon Islands," Cpl Barratt said.
Cpl Barratt spoke to Service
Newspapers to pass onto readers the
common health threats they could face
when they deployed to the MEAO,
East Timor and Solomon Islands.
She said one of the biggest envi-
ronmental factors personnel have to
deal with is the climate, specifically
Injuries associated with the expo-
sure to heat are also a large threat to
"Wearing body armour, in
50-degree heat can put you more at
risk of coming down with a heat inju-
ry such as heat exhaustion and heat
stroke," Cpl Barratt said.
To combat this, avoid becoming
dehydrated. Early signs of dehydration
are dark infrequent urination, thirst
"Early signs of heat exhaustion are
profuse sweating, headaches, muscle
cramps, fatigue and irritabilty
"With heat stroke, other symptoms
include dry, hot skin, nausea, vomit-
ing, pale clammy skin and weak, rapid
pulse and a high temperature."
To combat heat injuries, personnel
must try to acclimatise to their new
work environment, work in teams to
share the task load, minimise caffeine
intake, and drink plenty of water while
at the same time monitoring the colour
of their urine.
The rule is the clearer and lighter
the colour urine is, the more hydrated
"In Afghanistan during winter,
personnel may also face cold weather
injuries such as chilblains, frostbite
and hypothermia," Cpl Barratt said.
"Initial signs and symptoms of
hypothermia are mild numbness of the
hands, shivering, difficulty with walk-
ing and incoherent behaviour.
"Treatment involves warming the
body very slowly by giving the per-
son warm decaffeinated drinks, while
keeping the person motionless so as to
not put a strain their heart."
With the MEAO, members may
also need to be aware of dust and air-
"If you're conducting activities that
create a lot of dust, you may be at risk
of inhaling some diseases," Cpl Barratt
"Diseases such as Anthrax occur
naturally in some livestock, and this
can be transferred to humans by inhal-
ing those anthrax spores. Personnel
can wear a shemagh or something like
a recon wrap made out of t-shirt mate-
rial to protect them from this risk
"People should also wash their
faces, eyelids and creases in their skin
frequently to remove any soil residue."
The Solomon Islands, East Timor
and Afghanistan all share a common
disease -- malaria.
"Personnel will need to take
Doxycycline (depending on your
location and time of year) daily as a
preventative medication, as well as
regularly dipping cams, bed nets and
applying insect repellent containing
DEET," Cpl Barratt said.
Communal living environments
such as barrack blocks, tents, patrol
bases and living aboard ships can har-
bour many health conditions.
"When people are living togeth-
er the chances of spreading illnesses
increase greatly," Cpl Barratt said.
"Colds, flu and gastroenteritis can
spread quickly throughout communal
"Also, all living environments
should be cleaned regularly to pre-
vent the possibility of rodents and the
spreading of communicable illnesses."
For more information on what to do for your
health before, during and after an operation-
al deployment visit http://intranet.defence.
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