14 January 2013

Air ambulance takes good care of Subic residents

Subic proved to be an ideal site for an air-ambulance service when a severely injured man, from Pohnpei, Micronesia, was airlifted to the Unihealth-Baypointe hospital at the former American naval base recently onboard a reconfigured twin-engine Westwind business jet.

The Westwind jet was converted into a mini intensive-care unit ward complete with hospital staff, an oxygen system and ventilators because patients are usually too sick or injured to fly in a commercial flight.

Officials of air-ambulance firm, Carejet Assist, said they could not release other details about the patient but said the injury was sustained from a work-related accident.

“He is now recuperating in the hospital. I think he will be released soon,” Scotty Watson, program director of Carejet Assist and a 20-year veteran of the air-ambulance industry, said.

Watson added that during it’s first six months, Carejet has conducted nine air-ambulance missions, plus several other medical and repatriation activities.

The hospital operates 24/7 through the Aviation Concepts Logistics Center in Makati City, where their clients, mostly insurance and assistance companies from South America, the United States and Europe, coordinate the medical missions.

Besides medical ambulance and assistance, the company also assists other emergency needs like commercial repatriation. A few months ago, they repatriated Filipinos from Copenhagen and London, bringing them back to Manila.

The country’s only air ambulance-service provider will add another aircraft early next year in response to a growing demand for their services in the Asia-Pacific region.

The first aircraft, an eight-seater Westwind jet operating from Subic Bay International Airport, has been busy moving patients from one part of Asia to another. To date, its longest run was a Subic Bay-Dhakar (Bangladesh)-Nagoya (Japan) and back mission.

Chairman Robert Garcia of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority welcomes the expansion program, pointing out that the move fits snugly into their plan.(Recto Mercene, Business Mirror)