Nearly 1,400 Members of the Army and Air Force Support Actions in Santa Maria
By Dialogo January 30, 2013
Approximately 1,400 members from the Armed Forces worked in Santa Maria, Rio Grande do Sul state, to mitigate the aftermath from the fire that took place at a night club on January 27.
On the evening of January 28, the Brazilian Army informed that they had mobilized 377 Soldiers. Earlier, the Aeronautics Command reported that approximately 1,000 Soldiers from the Brazilian Air Force (FAB) joined the mission, including 64 doctors and nurses, and four psychologists.
The commitment was facilitated by the significant number of Military organizations based in Santa Maria, including the Third Army Division and a Military aerial base.
This structure allowed for the Military presence at the location since the morning of January 27, with helicopters, airplanes, supplies and troops.
Out of the 231 confirmed and identified deaths, 13 are officers who worked in both forces: eight in the Army and five in the FAB.
According to the Army, the movement by the Military to assist the victims of the tragedy took place on two fronts: Santa Maria’s local Hospital de Guarnição, where 120 health professionals were deployed, and 257 Soldiers were used to support the logistics and security actions. The authorities counted on 51 vehicles, with three ambulances, and a refrigerated truck.
The Air Force informed in a memorandum that 39 injured individuals from Santa Maria were transported to Porto Alegre (Rio Grande do Sul), 15 of which were transported during the night using the FAB’s aerial Intensive Care Units.
Doctors took the decision to transport them after evaluating each patient’s clinical diagnosis. During the flight, each patient was assisted by at least one doctor and one nurse.
The transports were carried out in SC-105 Amazonas, C-95 Bandeirante, and C-95 Caravan airplanes, and C-98, and H-60 Blackhawk helicopters. More aircraft are on stand by and ready to go if necessary.