Paramedic of the Year 2007 - Sgt Rachel McDonald,RAF


Book Reviewer
From Daily Express:

Thursday April 12,2007


A HEROIC RAF paramedic has won a major award after leading her team through enemy fire to save 24 wounded soldiers in Afghanistan.

Sergeant Rachel McDonald, 25, has been named Para­medic Of The Year 2007 by the Ambulance Service Institute for her courageous actions in spring last year.

Rachel and her four-man team treated the French, American and Afghan troops wounded in a firefight with the Taliban and supervised their evacuation under enemy fire.

Within hours of getting the wounded to the safety of the British field hospital at the Army’s Camp Bastion in Helmand province, she and her team were back in the front-line.

Rachel, who is single and from Swansea, is now back in Afghanistan on another tour of duty. Details of her bravery emerged only after the ASI announced that she is to be presented with the award at a House of Commons ceremony next month.

Rachel was based at Camp Bastion last May when reports came in of “numerous casualties” during fighting with the Taliban.

The citation says: "On arrival at the location the helicopter deposited the medical personnel with the force protection unit to give them cover.

"Under hostile fire, Sgt McDonald led the medical personnel, on foot, to a small holding area where they were presented with 24 Afghan Army, French and American casualties.

"Due to the high threat levels, the helicopter could not remain on the ground and Sgt McDonald was advised that it would return in 10 minutes to retrieve the team and the casualties."

It wheeled away in a cloud of dust and, while British, French, American and Afghan troops secured the holding area, Rachel found the wounded had been given "basic treatment" by American medics.

But the fighting was so intense that these battlefield medics were suffering from "battle shock" and unable to give her a clear picture of the state of the casualties.

She designated one casualty as priority one, five as priority two and the rest as priority three.

The most seriously wounded soldier, a 22-year-old Afghan, had suffered gunshot wounds to the left lower chest and left flank.

Three others had gunshot wounds to the legs and one in both arms.

Others were suffering from minor injuries but all were in a state of shock.

Rachel supervised the evacuation with the wounded loaded onto various vehicles while she accompanied the most seriously wounded on the terrifying three minute drive to helicopter landing zone.

The citation said:

"The casualties were transferred to the helicopter, again under fire, with Sgt McDonald remaining on the ground to ensure rapid but safe transfer of each casualty and finally retrieving the medical equipment from each vehicle.

"Throughout the short journey Sgt McDonald recorded details of her quick assessments of each casualty."

On the 12 minute flight to Camp Bastion Rachel supervised further treatment, overcoming language difficulties, and concentrating on the most seriously wounded soldier and while airborne told the hospital what to prepare for.

The young Afghan was treated successfully before being airlifted to a more advanced hospital.

With the patients in safe hands, Rachel "directed her team to replenish the medical kit ready to re-deploy to another incident", said the citation.

"Within a matter of hours Sgt McDonald was leading her team on another mission to retrieve injured service personnel from a similar hostile environment."

Bloody well done all involved -

<< Detail.....wait for STILL) >>

Le Chevre
Bloody good effort, some of us crabs can hack it out there then!

And she's single I note...
Good work. Why wasn't this recognised appropriately at the time with MC a la Pte Norris?
Crab you beat me to it, it does appear that she is a)single but b) possibly ginger......
I take the p!ss but there lies a tale of real courage. Let he sell her story!
DontMentionTheWar said:
Good work. Why wasn't this recognised appropriately at the time with MC a la Pte Norris?
Blo0dy good show,
Now theres a news story that should have been pushed to
the front of the Red Tops, and not that Sh1te from Iran.

Government and the MOD Missed out on a great story that should have been told earlier methinks.. :?


Book Reviewer
Anyone know if the shots used in the Express story were sourced from MoD originally ? If so, who ?


Lee Shaver


War Hero
Darned well deserved too; a lady who certainly knows how to swash her buckle with fortitude. Just a pity the original tale is only emerging now, a year after it occurred. Still, I suppose we should be thankful for small mercies, anything that even fractionally counteracts the media negativity at the moment is welcome.

If I were sporting a hat today it would be duly doffed in Sgt McDonald's direction.


Well done that lass. Should be a poster girl.


Book Reviewer

you have just ruined at least a dozen wistful fantasies......give her our respects and best wishes for a slightly less action-packed tour....

what common core was sgt mcdonald on?
I can vouch that Sgt Mcd is not a ginge and is in fact a very professional nco and medic. There are some films doing the rounds including one of her and the team (inc 16 CSMR) going into a hot zone with 3 Para. Keogh show it to the Common Core to remind them what they've really signed up for.

Congrats Rachel
Well done Sgt McDonald!

Single eh? And from Swansea you say?

shift target, shift target....

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