[Archive Home][Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]
"Air Ambulances Taking Active Role in Hurricane Relief Efforts"
- From: "Stephen Irwin" <stepheni@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Fri, 2 Sep 2005 20:53:22 -0500
Friday, September 2, 2005
The Value of Aviation to a Community in Need
Air Ambulances Taking Active Role in Hurricane Relief Efforts
Alexandria, VA - According to the Association of Air Medical Services, a
multitude of air medical programs,
both fixed wing and rotor wing, are actively responding to the disaster
relief efforts in the Gulf Region.
Both fixed wind and helicopter aircraft from states surrounding the area
ravaged by Hurricane Katrina are
responding to calls to aid federal and state emergency management agencies.
Emergency air transportation
programs from outside the affected region have committed support staff and
maintenance crews to hurricanedamaged
areas in order to maintain a long term presence in the disaster zone.
Numerous air medical personnel
have volunteered for this mission, both flight crew and support personnel.
Although flight operations are challenged by limited electricity,
communications, ground support and access to
fueling stations, civilian air medical programs such as Air Evac Lifeteam
(West Plains, MO), PHI Air Medical
(Lafayette, LA), Angel One Transport (Little Rock, AR) and Baptist
LifeFlight (Pensacola, FL) have been working
around the clock evacuating patients from local hospitals in the areas
hardest hit by Katrina.
To date, the efforts of air medical critical care services have been
informal and primarily voluntary. Over 50
specialty medical helicopters and fixed wing aircraft have been available
since hours after Katrina moved
through, but many have yet to be deployed. This is despite the enormous
funds expended since 2001 targeting
improvements in emergency disaster response, and the development of an
organized database of civilian air
medical resources developed in a joint project with the National Highway
Traffic Safety Administration. There is
no organized Federal plan to rapidly deploy non-military medical aircraft in
the case of medical disasters despite
working experience in Hurricanes in Florida last year. This is in stark
contrast to annual wildland fire suppression
overseen by other Federal agencies which rely on contracts for on-demand,
as-needed private specialty fire
suppression aircraft for water and crew deployment.
"There is no reason for this level of confusion," according to Tom Judge,
President of AAMS. "We have hospitals
and state officials pleading for aircraft with specialty medical teams and
equipment, while other public officials
are simultaneously canceling the same aircraft in the air." Days into this
event there are tremendous ongoing
problems with command and control, communications, and fuel support for
aircraft. "The tragedy is that
deployment of specialty team critical care medical aircraft would allow our
Coast Guard and military aircraft and
personnel to concentrate on search and rescue and material support for
affected areas. The Coast Guard has
been absolutely amazing and we should be supporting their efforts by doing
what we do best-moving the
critically ill and injured out of hospitals. Once we have completed initial
operations we all need to sit down and
develop a plan to make sure this does not happen again."
"The air medical transportation services industry stands ready to assist in
the efforts to bring aid and comfort to
the victims of Hurricane Katrina by providing specialized air medical
transportation to the people who need it
most. Our tradition and mission is to help the infirm and in the history of
our country there has never been a
greater need than in the aftermath of this devastating storm to come to the
aid of our fellow citizens," the
association said in a statement.
The Association of Air Medical Services (AAMS) is the only international
trade association serving the entire air and ground medical transport
community. AAMS strives to enhance the medical transport industry by
promoting the highest level of industry safety; promoting quality patient
care; inspiring commitment to the industry's work, causes, and viability;
and providing superior service to its members.
Post your opinion on this story in the CAA General Aviation Forum
Fair Use Notice
This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of political, human rights, economic, democracy and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.html. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
If you have any queries regarding this issue, please Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org