IRAQ HUMANITARIAN CRISIS

NYCMedics Trauma Stabilization Point

On October 17, 2016, the Iraqi military began its campaign to retake areas under the control of ISIS (the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria) beginning with Mosul, a major city with a population of approximately 1.2 million people. Civilian and military casualties from the fighting in Mosul have been high, with more than 10,000 known trauma victims thus far based on World Health Organization (WHO) reports, though this is likely underestimated.

Also, injury patterns suggest that ISIS is actively and intentionally targeting civilians rather than civilians simply being caught in the crossfire. Based on this heavy burden of trauma victims, WHO has established a trauma referral system, including Trauma Stabilization Points (TSP) located close to the front lines and tasked with providing rapid initial emergency care and stabilization to patients with traumatic injuries.

Since 17 October, more than 10,000 trauma patients have been treated in all TSPs in East and west Mosul. From 24 June to 3 July 108 trauma cases were recorded in trauma stabilization points (TSPs) bringing patients treated at TSPs in West Mosul to 4,168. Of this, more than 939 were moderately severe cases and 580 were severe cases. Among the total trauma cases 14% were women while 17% were children less than 18 years of age.

PROGRAM DESCRIPTION

The NYCMedics Emergency Medical Team (EMT) will staff a single Trauma Stabilization Point to assist with the high burden of trauma victims arising from the ongoing conflict in Iraq. The TSP will operate 24 hours a day and will provide trauma and stabilization care to patients regardless of civilian or combatant status, and irrespective of race, religion, gender, age, or political affiliation. This is not hospital based surgical trauma care, but a vital precursor. It is urgently needed emergency pre-hospital care at the first point of patient contact, which greatly ensures survivability of the injured. Care received through a TSP stabilizes patients for transport to more definitive surgical care or other higher level of medical care in a hospital and will feed into the existing referral care system. The NYCM TSP will be a mobile facility, capable of relocation to a new site within several hours to account for changes in field conditions and to maximize patient access to trauma care.

POSITIONS AND MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS

International clinical staff (26-day deployment + 4 days travel and training, total 30 days):

Physicians

    • Responsibilities: Lead and manage clinical team, make final triage decisions, perform clinical care including medical and minor surgical procedures as outlined in the Trauma Stabilization Point Terms of Reference document, arrange for referral to definitive care, and clinical documentation.
    • Required Qualifications: Post-graduate training and board certified in Emergency Medicine, General Surgery, Trauma Surgery, or Surgical Critical Care, active license to practice medicine, up-to-date certification in ATLS (Advanced Trauma Life Support) or the equivalent.
    • Desired Qualifications: Arabic speaking, military experience, law enforcement experience, experience operating in high-stress regions experiencing conflict or sudden onset disasters, Tactical Combat Casualty Care (TCCC), Tactical Emergency Casualty Care (TECC), Pre-Hospital Trauma Life Support (PHTLS), Emergency Pediatric Care (EPC), Pediatric Education for Pre-Hospital Professionals (PEPP)
  • Mid-level providers (Physician Assistants, Nurse Practitioners)
    • Responsibilities: Assist with medical care under the supervision of the physicians, including medical and minor surgical procedures as outlined in the Trauma Stabilization Point Terms of Reference document, and assist with clinical documentation.
    • Required Qualifications: Two years of professional experience as a mid-level provider in Emergency Medicine, Surgery, Surgical Critical Care, or Anesthesia, an active license to practice as a mid-level provider, and up-to-date certification in ATLS or the equivalent
    • Desired Qualifications: Arabic speaking, military experience, law enforcement experience, experience operating in high-stress regions experiencing conflict or sudden onset disasters, Tactical Combat Casualty Care (TCCC), Tactical Emergency Casualty Care (TECC), Pre-Hospital Trauma Life Support (PHTLS), Emergency Pediatric Care (EPC).
  • Nurses (RN)
    • Responsibilities: Assist with medical care under the supervision of the physicians, including medical and minor surgical procedures as outlined in the Trauma Stabilization Point Terms of Reference document, assist with clinical documentation, and possibly assist with patient monitoring and stabilization during ambulance transport.
    • Required Qualifications: Two (2) years of professional experience as a mid-level provider in Emergency Medicine, Surgery, Surgical Critical Care, or Anesthesia, and an active nursing license.
    • Desired Qualifications: Arabic speaking, military experience, law enforcement experience, experience operating in high-stress regions experiencing conflict or sudden onset disasters, Tactical Combat Casualty Care (TCCC), Tactical Emergency Casualty Care (TECC), Pre-Hospital Trauma Life Support (PHTLS), Emergency Pediatric Care (EPC).
  • Paramedics
    • Responsibilities: Assist with medical care under the supervision of the physicians, including medical and minor surgical procedures as outlined in the Trauma Stabilization Point Terms of Reference document, assist with clinical documentation, and possibly assist with patient monitoring and stabilization during ambulance transport.
    • Required Qualifications: Two (2) years of professional experience as an ALS (Advanced Life Support) level paramedic provider, and an active license to practice as an ALS level paramedic.
    • Desired Qualifications: Arabic speaking, military experience, law enforcement experience, experience operating in high-stress regions experiencing conflict or sudden onset disasters, Tactical Combat Casualty Care (TCCC), Tactical Emergency Casualty Care (TECC), Pre-Hospital Trauma Life Support (PHTLS), Emergency Pediatric Care (EPC), Pediatric Education for Pre-Hospital Professionals (PEPP).

 

DEPLOYMENT DATES AND DURATION

At this moment the definitive dates of deployment are tentatively scheduled to occur beginning August 20, 2017 (see schedule below). International clinical volunteers would be required to be available for a minimum of one month including travel. Note: Tal ‘Afar rotations are approximately one month inclusive of travel days. Clinical volunteers will be on the ground for up to 26 days with four days allotted for travel; travel time may vary and is dependent on the departing airport.

There will be a deployment fee of $100 per person.

TAL’AFAR DEPLOYMENT SCHEDULE

  • Team 1 Aug 20 – September 8
  • Team 2 September 3 – September 29
  • Team 3 September 24 – October 20-24*

* Team 3 return date is also yet to be determined. It will not be confirmed until after field operations begin when we have a better understanding of needs in the field and the anticipated timeline of operations.

 

SECURITY

The safety, health, and security of NYCM volunteers is our number one priority. There will be a full time Security Liaison in the field for the duration of the mission who will be responsible for operationalizing all aspects of security operations. All NYCM volunteers will receive mandatory in-person security briefing upon arrival in Erbil and prior to deployment into field sites near Mosul. The Security Liaison furthermore will serve as a principal advisor to the Team Leader in the execution of his/her responsibility to promote the safety of staff under all circumstances.

 

WHAT TO EXPECT

NYCMedics volunteers will be held to the highest standard as outlined in the NYCMedics Volunteer and Deployment Manuals. Further, volunteers will be required to become familiar with the World Health Organization’s Classification and Minimum Standards for Foreign Medical Teams in Sudden Onset Disasters. Volunteers will be required to participate in a mandatory pre-deployment online training and thoroughly read and review all documents handed out prior to deployment. Upon arrival in Erbil volunteers will receive a mandatory security training and an intensive briefing prior to deploying to the field in order to enhance situational awareness, safety and security procedures, and emergency evacuation protocols. Volunteers will be working in an active conflict zone and as such, will be subject to living and working in austere, high stress environments. The demands of working in a TSP will be difficult and at times emotional. NYCMedics Emergency Medical Teams will be responsible for the 24-hour operation of a Trauma Stabilization Point, including receiving patients, providing trauma stabilization care, arranging transfer to a referral hospital for definitive care, possibly assisting with in-ambulance medical care, data collection and chart review, maintaining TSP facility cleanliness and in a functional working condition, maintaining stocks of medicines and supplies, and assisting with breakdown and relocation of the mobile TSP.

 

NYCMedics will cover the following costs for the duration of deployment:

  • Volunteer weekly stipend
  • Round trip airfare to and from Iraq
  • In-country program related expenses
  • Accident and Evacuation Insurance, including AD&D Coverage
  • Medical Malpractice Insurance
  • Psychosocial care support before and after mission
  • Lodging and meals
  • Medical equipment and medicines
  • Communications equipment (for program-related communication)

Costs covered by volunteer:

  • All personal expenses incurred in preparation for departure
  • Personal expenses incurred during travel and in-country
  • Personal cell phone, data/internet, etc.

At NYC Medics, we strive beyond just recruiting another volunteer but hope that you will become part of the NYC Medics family. We realize volunteering is a lofty commitment and one that poses many challenges to the volunteer and his/ hers every day responsibilities. We make every effort to ensure that each deployment is safe and successful, and that all team members have a fulfilling, memorable experience.

HOW TO APPLY

New Volunteers: First, review the NYC Medics application process, which outlines all required documents necessary to complete your application. Those interested in applying for any of our volunteer positions should do so immediately through the NYCMedics Volunteer Portal. Begin filling out your application by selecting a username, entering your email, and clicking “Save and Continue.” Your application must be completed in one sitting. Otherwise, your information will not be saved.

Existing Volunteers: Those interested in applying for any of our open volunteer positions should do so immediately by expressing your availability for your desired position through NYCMedics Volunteer Portal.

For questions or concerns, please email Jake Dutton, NYC Medics’ Volunteer Coordinator

APPLICATION PROCESS

NYCMs’ mobile medical teams work to minimize the loss of life and alleviate human suffering of disaster-affected populations throughout the world. Our mission is to provide to life-saving emergency medical services to people who would otherwise not receive humanitarian aid.  Volunteers should review the following self-assessment to help you decide if this is right for you.

VOLUNTEER SELF-ASSESSMENT

This process is to look at oneself and understand potential deployment expectations once in the field.  As disaster response is a very fluid environment and no deployment mirrors the previous, it is important to understand one’s limitations which can affect the team’s performance and relief efforts.  This self-evaluation is not to dishearten volunteers, but rather to help individuals clearly grasp the physical and psychological demands of working in a disaster zone.

  1. Physical
    • I can trek 2 miles without difficulty over challenging terrain.
    • I can trek carrying 35 lbs for at least one mile daily.
    • I can treat patients for 10+ hours a day.
    • I am able to sleep in a tent for more than 2 weeks.
    • I am able to travel by helicopter, pickup truck cargo bed, boat, on foot.
  2. Psychological
    • I am able to enter into, work and live within an active disaster zone.
    • I am able to work in a clinic that treats 200+ patients/day.
    • I am able to see patients of all ages with serious and life threatening wounds or illnesses.
    • I am able to handle the aftermath of a disaster, including but not limited to, heavy rain, high winds, landslides, flooding or aftershocks.
    • I am able to live in a remote, austere environment without access to running water and conventional latrines.
    • I am comfortable and have experience with camping.
    • I am comfortable not being able to communicate with my family and/or support network for the extent of the trip.
    • I am able to follow directions from other medical staff and the team leader.
    • I am comfortable working outside of a very structured hospital setting that will not have access to all medicines and medical supplies typically found in an emergency department.
    • I am easy to work with and work well with others.
    • I am able to contribute and do my part to make sure the mission is accomplished.

NYC Medics actively recruits highly trained medical personnel to add to our disaster relief roster, which requires that volunteers be willing to deploy rapidly—usually within 72 hours— for a duration of 14 days. In some instances, volunteers will be required to pay for their own flights, but will receive a food allowance for each day spent in the field, shared housing, and emergency medical evacuation insurance. Should this be necessary you will be told during the initial disaster response phone call.

Although all qualified medical professionals are welcome to submit an application, we encourage the applications of those with experience in the following specialties:

  • Orthopedic Surgery
  • General Surgery
  • Trauma Surgery
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Tropical Medicine
  • Obstetrics/Gynecology
  • Pediatrics
  • Anesthesiology
  • Physician Assistants
  • Registered Nurses/Nurse Practitioners/Nurse-Anesthetists
  • Nurse-Midwives /Certified Midwives
  • Pharmacists
  • Paramedics

If you feel ready to volunteer for us based on reviewing that assessment, then please fill out an online application, which requires submission of an up-to-date passport (and visa page when applicable).

Also required:

  • Current medical credentials
  • Instructor and/or training certificates and credentials
  • Required immunizations record (MMR, Diphtheria, Tetanus, Hepatitis B)
  • Highly recommended (not required) Immunizations record (Hepatitis A, Typhoid, Malaria Prophylaxis, Yellow Fever, Rabies)
  • Contact information for at least two references (one personal, one professional)
  • Current Resume

Once a completed application is received and reviewed, NYCM will contact you to schedule an interview; local applicants will interview in person at headquarters and those outside of the state may be asked to meet with a regional volunteer coordinator. If you are in a location that does not have a regional recruitment volunteer coordinator, interviews will be conduct via Skype.

Following a successful telephone interview, volunteers will be asked to complete a medical questionnaire, which will be reviewed by the NYCM Medical Director.

Once medical clearance is received your application will be approved.

Once approved you will need to complete your profile with additional required information in order to become active in our roster. You will learn more about this during the interview process.

Click Here to Complete the Disaster Relief Application

Click Here to Complete the Health Systems Development Application

Please know we do our best to respond to every applicant, however, it is not always possible due to the high volume of inquiries we receive – especially when responding to a disaster.