Family reunion a happy ending to most memorable mission

January 23, 2014 12:00 pm Comments Off on Family reunion a happy ending to most memorable mission

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At Air Trek, we have many fond memories of special patients and air ambulance flights that stand out in our 36-year history. One flight in particular demonstrates the unique benefits of our dual-stretcher/double-patient capabilities.

Tragically, a husband and wife were involved in an auto accident in south Central Florida. With their car a total wreck, the wife was transported to the local hospital in Sebring while the husband was airlifted via helicopter to the trauma center at Tampa General Hospital.

Thankfully, the positive patient outcome was that both patients were stabilized within weeks, and ready to return to their home in Wisconsin for continued rehabilitation. After working closely with both the social workers and case managers at the Tampa and Sebring hospitals (along with the insurance provider and rehabilitation hospital in Wisconsin), Air Trek’s flight coordinators developed a transport plan that included Air Trek’s Cessna Citation II Jet with two stretchers
and additional medical staff.

The journey home began at the wife’s bedside in Sebring with our medical transport team transporting the wife and her daughter via ground ambulance to the local airport, and boarding them into the jet for a quick 15-minute flight to Tampa International Airport. While flying the wife to Tampa, our second medical team met the husband and their second daughter at his bedside in Tampa and escorted him, via ground ambulance, to the Tampa International Airport.

Now here is the great part: We timed it so that all would arrive at the Tampa airport at the same time! We boarded the husband into the jet, reuniting the husband, wife and daughters for the first time since the accident.

The feedback that we receive after trips like this is proof to us that we are right where we need to be providing a service that is most gratifying. Here is a note we received from the patients’ daughters:

“It is good to be home and our parents are as well as can be expected. Mom is at home and Dad is in rehab here in Wisconsin.

“We were apprehensive about flying Mom and Dad from two different cities and hospitals. From start to finish, our parents’ air ambulance could not have been better.

“Every member of the crew went beyond expectations to make our parents comfortable and at ease. The organization was outstanding and we felt safe and secure throughout the flight.

“Most importantly, you reunited our family!”

Needless to say, this was a most heart-warming moment and one of the best “family reunions” ever. To reunite this family after such a tragic accident was one of our most memorable air ambulance flights to date

Behind every memorable moment such as this is a company and system set in place to make sure that these situations are car-
ried out as planned. Air Trek’s foundation consists of a 36-year-old family business whose formula for success has remained the same for years: focus on being safety-centered while providing the ultimate in patient care.

Air Trek owns and operates six aircraft, including pressurized twin-engine aircraft, citation jets and a Westwind II jet. Each aircraft is fully equipped and staffed to function as a flying critical-care unit, allowing us to provide the best care for our patients. Air Trek differs from other air-ambulance services in that we own the aircraft, which enables us to have direct operational control of all aspects of the patient’s transport.

The patient’s family, friends and pets may also travel aboard the aircraft at no additional charge, pending the availability of seats. Air Trek’s flight coordinators can explain the different seating capabilities for each individual aircraft, then design a personalized and specific plan to meet the transport needs for the patient and their family members.

Additionally, two of Air Trek’s six aircraft have dual-stretcher patient transport capabilities. If a co-worker or another facility has a patient traveling to the patient’s destination, this can be an economical means for cost sharing the transport. ■

— Dana Carr is an airline transport pilot and serves as director of operations for Air Trek Inc., which is family owned and operated since 1978 and specializes in helping people travel throughout the world. Air ambulance information is available at Aircraft charter and luxury travel info is available at