Air ambulance innovation places Newfoundland firm on international radar

Air ambulance innovation places Newfoundland firm on international radar

Progressive pondering by a Newfoundland-based aviation firm helps ambulance service suppliers enhance customer support and effectivity.

Greater than that, mentioned Peter Byl, president of Latitude Air Ambulance of Hamilton, Ont., the patented know-how developed by EVAS (Exploits Valley Aviation Providers) of Gander ensures individuals who should be transported by air ambulance might be handled with dignity and respect.

The factor that units this plane other than commonplace air ambulances is the hands-free, powered loading system, enabling a great deal of as much as 700 kilos to be simply lifted onto the plane.

That system was developed by the crew at EVAS, a personal firm owned by husband and spouse Pat and Florence White.

Pat and Florence White are the owners of Gander-based EVAS. In addition to airplane modifications, the company also provides cargo and passenger service around Atlantic Canada, and operates a flight training school in Gander. - Barb Dean-Simmons
Pat and Florence White are the homeowners of Gander-based EVAS. Along with airplane modifications, the corporate additionally offers cargo and passenger service round Atlantic Canada, and operates a flight coaching college in Gander. – Barb Dean-Simmons


The Beechcraft 1900 additionally offers extra headroom than the standard air ambulance. With a six-foot-high cabin, medical groups can get round contained in the craft with out having to hunch over, mentioned Bly.

There’s additionally sufficient area and seating to permit for extra individuals — together with further medical workers, a number of sufferers or members of the family — to journey collectively.

The preliminary thought behind EVAS’s modified Beechcraft 1900D was for simpler transport of bariatric sufferers and switch of infants that required a medical crew and heavy neonatal gear to journey with them.

Its usefulness goes past that, nevertheless.

‘Swiss military knife’ of plane

Byl mentioned Latitude has already labored by way of a number of eventualities with the primary Beechcraft it purchased from EVAS final yr.

It used the aircraft to evacuate a half dozen COVID-19-positive employees from a mining web site. The dimensions of the plane meant they might carry 10 sufferers directly whereas sustaining COVID-19 protocols.

That’s not solely a time-saver, however a money-saver for the companies — insurance coverage and governments — that pay for the medivacs, mentioned Byl.

“A smaller plane might solely have moved one affected person at a time, that means 10 journeys. We did it in a single.”

In addition they used it to maneuver vaccine groups — with 12 medical personnel and their gear — into distant northern communities. The power of the Beechcraft to land on gravel, in addition to asphalt, is only one extra characteristic that provides to its versatility.

The additional area, in comparison with a sometimes smaller medivac plane, additionally means members of the family can accompany a affected person on the flight.

One among their current assignments for an insurance coverage firm was to move a shark assault sufferer from Hawaii again to their house in France. The affected person was too unwell to journey by industrial airline.

The members of the family of the sufferer might additionally journey within the Beechcraft 1900, as a substitute of getting to get a separate, industrial flight.

Byl calls it the “Swiss Military knife” of plane, including, “There isn’t an ideal airplane, one that can do 20 totally different jobs and each job you should do.

“You’re fortunate if you may get a aircraft that may do 50 per cent of what you want it to do,” mentioned Byl. “This one does 85 per cent of what we wish.”

He anticipates Latitude will ultimately have 4 or 5 of the modified Beechcraft in its fleet.

“It simply ticks all of the packing containers for what we purchased it for,” he mentioned, including the opposite promoting level was figuring out the EVAS air crew had a lot expertise with this plane, having used them as cargo planes.

“They only undergo them from stem to stern,” he mentioned of the modification course of.

Headroom makes a distinction

This month Latitude took supply of its second air ambulance from EVAS.

Pat White’s thought to supply plane for the air ambulance enterprise started to develop because the world was shutting down due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ticket gross sales for passenger journey virtually dried up. Cargo enterprise, nevertheless, picked up as individuals affected by COVID-19 lockdowns and layoffs developed a behavior of on-line buying.

White started to consider methods he might modify the Beechcraft 1900 past cargo use.

The corporate had already been working with the provincial authorities, offering air ambulance service, he mentioned.

“They requested us to take a look at some choices round occupational well being and security, measures to stop accidents from the lifting of heavy hundreds, like bariatric sufferers.”

As much as then, most medivac plane had been smaller, offering much less headroom and area. Medical attendants must hunch over in these smaller plane, famous Bly, which isn’t the perfect place for lifting.

White was shocked to appreciate nobody else on the earth had any options for lifting heavy sufferers onto plane.

“I suppose nobody else on the earth had actually thought of it,” he mentioned, including the credit score for the design of the elevate system has to go to the gifted “crew of innovators” at EVAS and assist from the School of the North Atlantic in Gander.

The pivot to this new enterprise did not come low-cost. It price EVAS $6 million to get this concept off the bottom.

The gamble seems to be paying off, although, because the world appears to be taking discover of the EVAS answer to air ambulance transport. White mentioned he’s getting calls from potential clients america, Australia, New Zealand and the Bahamas.

And that might imply extra hiring.

At the moment, he mentioned, 24 individuals are employed for every Beechcraft modification undertaking.

If extra orders are available in, “We’re going to wish extra individuals,” mentioned White.

“We’re getting calls from all around the world now for this innovation,” he mentioned.

There’s the lesson about innovation, he added: don’t assume another person on this nice massive world has already found out the answer to an issue.

“Thank God we have now the experience right here in Gander and the workers to have the ability to carry this off to a world commonplace.”

And allow firms like Latitude to serve passengers with dignity, added Byl, recounting their change with a current affected person.

“As we put her on the elevate and moved her up and into the airplane she was smiling.”

The crew requested her why she was smiling and she or he replied it was simply good to be dealt with so simply, and to have the ability to have her members of the family together with her on the flight.

“And that is necessary (to) give individuals their dignity, it doesn’t matter what their state of affairs.”