Princess of Wales uses XtractTM to treat battlefield casualties during Salisbury Plain winter training manoeuvres
International World Women’s Day, on 8th March 2023, was a bitterly cold and wintry day on Salisbury Plain, with biting winds and a full covering of snow on the ground. This didn’t prevent the 1st Battalion Irish Guards – a royal regiment of the British Army formed in 1900 by Queen Victoria – from carrying out foot patrol, reconnaissance, and casualty evacuation drills across the Salisbury Plain MoD training area.
For some of the soldiers involved in the exercises, the weather was a sharp change from their recent security deployment in Africa – which includes training and collaborative work with Safari Park Rangers involved with counter-poaching operations.
Another change from the usual routine this day was an official visit and inspection from the honorary Colonel of the Irish Guards, who was set to take part in a rapid casualty treatment and extraction exercise.
The Colonel in question is non-other than HRH Kate Middleton (Windsor), Princess of Wales, who took over the honorary position from her husband the Prince of Wales last year, following the death of the late Queen.
At TSG, we were especially interested to hear about this visit because the Irish Guards, alongside other customers in HM Armed Forces, are regular users of our XtractTM system for battlefield casualty triage, treatment, and evacuation.
In fact, the Princess of Wales was directly involved in using the TSG XtractTM system to treat a simulated casualty during the exercise – something we found out about after the event!
Ambush and injury
As part of the exercise, an Irish Guards foot patrol was ambushed by an enemy, during which a soldier suffered a ‘gunshot wound’ to his leg and had to be evacuated from the scene by his fellow soldiers. The purpose of the exercise was to strengthen the readiness of the soldiers to respond quickly and effectively to battlefield casualties and to use their equipment to preserve life and minimise suffering.
The Princess of Wales assisted a Lance Corporal of the battalion to apply a tourniquet and other topical first-aid assistance to the ‘injured’ soldier, before being transferred to an XtractTM stretcher where HRH used further TSG triage systems to evaluate him for additional injuries.
The event was a great endorsement for both the Irish Guards for their superb level of training efficiency, and also for our casualty treatment systems at TSG, and the story even made it onto many front pages of daily newspapers!
The exercise didn’t involve any genuine injury to participants, but it gives us confidence that, when called upon, TSG XtractTM system has the potential to genuinely safeguard life and reduce harm in extreme and challenging situations.
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Our products and solutions are used for casualty evacuation, triage, and incident management in military, healthcare, and emergency response settings across the world, and are designed to make the patient’s movement as straightforward as possible while minimising pain and giving the casualty the best possible chance of survival and recovery.
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