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Air ambulance on display

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Dozens of local employers met this morning to tour an air ambulance tasked with saving countless lives each year.

Colonial Insurance displayed its air ambulance, available through company Med Escort, which provides emergency care for victims of major traffic accidents , premature babies and high risk pregnancies.

The aircraft, which can accommodate three medical staff, two pilots and in some cases a family member, is fully equipped with all the medical equipment of an Intensive Care Unit including ventilators and monitors.

Air ambulance director Mike Vallee said during its busiest times the medical team could fly to the Island up to four times a week. Craig Poliner, the president of Med Escort said in some cases they have transported two babies on the same day, while other times weeks could go by without need for an emergency evacuation.

According to Chief Operating Officer of Colonial Naz Farrow, it's important for people to have medical insurance that covers such overseas transfers, which would otherwise cost between $10,000 and $30,000, depending on the amount of staff and complexity.

She said in these tight economic times many people were choosing to downgrade their level of insurance coverage and putting themselves at risk. These people would not have coverage in the event they had to be medi-vaced off the Island, she said.

“We think it's really important for the general community and the general public to understand how emergency services are handled especially in light of the fact Bermuda is a small island, some 700 miles from the east coast of the United States.”

She said even though we had a good level of medical care on-Island, the more complex cases could not always be handled locally.

Photo by Mark Tatem Chief flight nurse Heather Petrie, Mike Vallee director air ambulance and David Ewing VP business development stand alongside the Air Ambulane at the LF Wade International Airport.
Photo by Mark Tatem Tight squeeze: Chief flight nurse Heather Petrie, Mike Vallee director air ambulance and David Ewing VP business development get comfortable in the close quarters of the Air Ambulane at the LF Wade International Airport.

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Published March 24, 2011 at 12:00 pm (Updated March 24, 2011 at 12:52 pm)

Air ambulance on display

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