HAITI - May 2, 2023 - On February 25, 2023, Haiti Air Ambulance purchased a Bell Helicopter 407 to increase the speed and capacity of emergency medical air lift services in Haiti.
Haiti Air Ambulance is the only helicopter air ambulance in the country of Haiti. With the recent cholera epidemic and great expanse of mountainous terrain, the non-profit organization’s medical helicopter services needed to increase the impact of its 365 days per year operation. Purchasing a used Bell Helicopter 407 for approximately $1.8 million will be supported by an additional purchase of $600,000 in helicopter medical equipment. The helicopter will be fully operational by the second quarter of 2023.
The Bell Helicopter 407 is unusually powerful for its size, and its small footprint will enable HAA to reach patients in remote areas. The additional medical equipment will include a “baby pod” for infants, portable ultrasound, cardiac monitor, medical ventilator, IV pumps to precisely administer fluids and medication, and a blood analyzer to do blood tests in flight. Over 50 medications will be included to treat patients en route to emergency care. The new helicopter will be able to carry a pilot, doctor, nurse or paramedic, a translator or flight EMT, in addition to a patient and a family member. It is more economical to operate than other airframes. This is an important consideration since the cost of every flight hour is $2,500.
David Ellis, Executive Director of Haiti Air Ambulance, regards this purchase as vital to meeting its mission to expand and deepen impact on the growing demand for emergency services. Up to 40% of their demand is for perinatal services. Ellis, who recently received the Salute to Excellence Golden Hour Award by the Helicopter Association International (HAI), knows about commitment. “As a non-profit service we look at how we can affect as many lives, including new lives, as possible.
Sometimes it’s by bringing patients to medical services. Sometimes it’s by bringing vital medical supplies and professionals to the people. And yet the people of Haiti constantly inspire us to do more, be more, and give as much as we can.”
Over the last decade Haiti Air Ambulance has been working not only to increase the number of flights it can provide but to develop a system of services that supports continuity of care for every patient it transports. These services include treating patients in flight and at the home base of Haiti Air Ambulance, running classes for medical professionals, community leaders and volunteers in health care, funding when needed to cover admission expenses for impoverished patients and free medication and supplies to clinics and hospitals around the country.
“We want to help Haitians enjoy a standard of health equal to that of their northern neighbors,” Ellis explains. “To this end, we’re determined to change the course of healthcare throughout Haiti by fostering an environment of well-being for societal growth and sustainability. It’s what we mean when we say, “There is hope in the skies over Haiti.”
About Haiti Air Ambulance:
Haiti Air Ambulance (HAA) is an established 501(c)(3) non-profit that has been in operation in Haiti since 2014. HAA operates the only medically equipped helicopter based in Haiti and is dedicated to making health care accessible to all of Haiti’s 11.5 million inhabitants.
For more information about the work of Haiti Air Ambulance and to contribute to it, visit: www.haitiairambulance.org