A BURNHAM paramedic is set for his third visit to Afghanistan to provide vital training to hospital staff.

Nich Woolf will embark on his journey tomorrow for four weeks, teaching staff on emergency medicine and the use of life-saving equipment.

The veteran paramedic will also be flying out with friend and facial surgeon Cath Adams, who previously visited the country with Nich.

Nich, 61, said: “My first visit involved taking out vital equipment and giving staff a better idea of what training was needed to provide basic life-saving skills.

“Then last year Cath and I taught a team of trainers, so that they could pass on more skills to their colleagues after we had gone, and now, this year, we are hoping to build on their knowledge and skills and teach them some more advanced techniques.

“We want to extend the capability of the hospital staff. Many of the accident patients have face and throat surgery, and they need good aftercare to make sure any swelling is controlled and their airways do not become blocked.

“By teaching some advanced life support techniques, we will enable them to run a post-operative intensive care unit and that will mean some of the patients will be able to be operated on safely in situ and not need to make the hazardous journey to Kabul.”

When he's not jetting off to foreign lands, Nich works for the Welsh Ambulance Service and is also a long-serving member of the Festival Medical Services, who run medical services at Glastonbury and Reading festivals.

The equipment Nich and Cath will be taking includes an automatic defibrillator, for resuscitation teams, a bone drill, for facial surgery and dental instruments given to them by College Street Practice, Burnham.

Nich said: “We are hoping that this third trip will leave in place a training programme that the hospital can continue, which will raise the level of medical teamwork and the standards of patient care in Afghanistan in the future.

“It is a country which has been through a great ordeal and this is our way of helping the people who live there look towards a brighter future.”