Navy Medic’s local link to bushfire communities

This article has photo gallery Published on LEUT Anthony Martin (author), LSIS Shane Cameron (photographer), ABIS Thomas Sawtell (photographer)

Topic(s): HMAS Adelaide (L01), Operation BUSHFIRE ASSIST

Leading Seaman Medic (Underwater) Kiah Chapple prepares medical equipment in the flight deck triage onboard HMAS Adelaide during Operation BUSHFIRE ASSIST 19-20. (photo: ABIS Thomas Sawtell)
Leading Seaman Medic (Underwater) Kiah Chapple prepares medical equipment in the flight deck triage onboard HMAS Adelaide during Operation BUSHFIRE ASSIST 19-20.

For some members of HMAS Adelaide’s ship’s company, being part of the ADF’s bushfire relief operation has been more meaningful because of their personal connections with the communities affected by the fires.

Leading Seaman Medic Kiah Chapple has family in Batemans Bay and Bermagui who have had to relocate to Wollongong because of the bushfires.

“I am glad that my family are safe and very happy that I can be here on the ship involved in the Navy response,” Leading Seaman Chapple said.

This is the first time in her eight-year career in the Navy that Leading Seaman Chapple has been called out to provide humanitarian support during a natural disaster.

Training with Navy and the Army has been a positive experience that has prepared her for tri-service environments such as the current team on Adelaide.

Specialising in underwater medicine and having previously served in Adelaide, Leading Seaman Chapple was readily prepared to respond to the urgent need to join the ship and quickly integrate with the embarked medical team.

“Everyone in the ship is great to work with. We have a professional medical team, and everyone is ready to go if needed,” she said.

Leading Seaman Chapple said she was proud to “be there for her family and community,” and knows her medical team and the entire crew of Adelaide feel the same way.

HMAS Adelaide, in conjunction with HMAS Choules and MV Sycamore, is working off the Australian south east coast providing valuable aid to the communities impacted by the bushfires.

Operation BUSHFIRE ASSIST 19-20 imagery is available on the Defence Image Gallery:
https://images.defence.gov.au/S20192970.