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Lifesavers come to call

A small group of cadets were given a peek into the world of being a medevac nurse when Nicole Poirier and Julie Freeman paid them a visit to discuss their job duties in Rankin Inlet this past week.

In-flight medevac nurses Nicole Poirier, left, and Julie Freeman spent an evening describing their job duties to seven Rankin Inlet cadets this past week. photo courtesy of Dorothy Tootoo

Corps Commanding Officer Dorothy Tootoo said Freeman was an air cadet in her younger years and the two nurses struck an instant rapport with the seven cadets.

She said the two are planning to visit the Rankin cadets again when they have a little downtime in the community.

“They told me they're always looking to try and get involved in the community when they have a bit of spare time and things like that, so they wondered if it was all right if they came out and visited with the cadets,” said Tootoo.

“I told them 'absolutely', and to bring their pilots if they ever have the chance to do so, because you never know, maybe they've had some experience with cadets too.

“They pretty much described to the cadets what a day in the life of a medevac nurse is really all about. And they actually explained to us that on-board the aircraft is just like an intensive-care unit in a hospital – that it's outfitted with everything needed to be able to prolong a person's life, whether it was a life-threatening injury or some form of trauma – and what's it like to try to get a patient to the nearest hospital and then having the flight diverted because there's no room at that hospital, and things of that nature.”

Tootoo said the cadets asked the two nurses just about everything they could think of about their jobs and the nurses showed just as much interest in the cadet program, asking the kids how long they'd been involved, what got them interested, and what they enjoyed the most about the program.

She said the nurses were also given a tour of the Forward Operating Location building where the cadets meet in Rankin and they were very open and receptive to the kids' questions, as well as listening to their personal experiences.

“We only had seven kids at the cadet meeting that night because we were competing with a community feast and square dance ...” Tootoo said.

“So, hopefully, they'll get a chance to come back and visit on a night when there isn't a feast and a square dance going on in the community and they'll get to meet the rest of the corps.”