TR has carefully assessed and decided against an emergency response to the earthquake and tsunami in northern Japan. TR came to this decision after considering our capabilities versus the robust emergency services and infrastructure of the nation of Japan. There is simply no gap for TR emergency medical teams to bridge when host country services start at definitive care. In other words, we have determined there is no need for TR triage services within such an advanced emergency system.
Japan is as well prepared as any country in the world to handle emergency trauma needs in the immediate aftermath of natural disasters. The third largest economy in the world, Japan is in fact number one when it comes to earthquake response.
In making our decision, TR considered our experience in Chile, where definitive care was fully intact and functioning by the time TR reached the epicenter of the earthquake. In our detailed Chile after action report, TR determined that in hindsight we most likely would not deploy to Chile again. TR has limited resources to conduct disaster relief and will only deploy medical teams when TR can ensure the individual donor a ‘return on investment’ in terms of lives saved, however difficult that may be to determine.
In addition, we are searching for any aftermath of the tsunami in less well environments in the Pacific which would be unable to mount such a coordinated response. Our thoughts and prayers remain with the nation of Japan. This will prove to be their finest hour.
VP, Team Rubicon