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Proposal for new air ambulance service

Almost three years after Bermuda Air Medivac shut down, a Smith's-based entrepreneur is looking to establish a new air ambulance service for the Island.

“People don't know this service is needed until they need it,” said Gilbert “Artie” Darrell, a firefighter and EMT paramedic.

The air ambulance would transport people in need of specialised medical attention from Bermuda to the United States.

This would include those who have suffered strokes, serious traumas, major orthopaedic surgeries, and spinal or brain injuries.

Bermuda Air Medivac, a private company, was forced to close in March 2013 due to financial problems — leaving the Island without a speedy medical evacuation service.

“At the moment, if a patient needs to be transported to the States, in my experience it can take 12 to 24 hours for an aircraft to be found and brought to Bermuda,” said Mr Darrell.

“I had a stroke patient once, and I remember him waiting for two days to be flown out.”

The 32-year-old, owner and founder of contracting and consulting company Darrell International, wants to cut that time to three hours or less between the initial phone call and the patient boarding the aeroplane, which would be based in Bermuda.

He is looking to raise between $3 million and $4 million from venture capitalists in the United States and Bermuda.

Mr Darrell suggested that his business plan is “fairly profitable”, with patients paying either themselves or via their insurance carriers.

“I really think we could provide a great service,” he said, “not just for the local population, but for tourists as well.

“We're looking for ground support from the people in Bermuda. I know that already exists,” he added.

Eloise Bell, the nurse who launched Bermuda Air Medivac, said she was concerned Mr Darrell's service might hit the same financial problems that hers did.

“There's still a need,” she said. “I think it's a good thing, but you've got to have enough money.”

•For further details, visit www.fundable.com/mobile-rescue-services-ltd

Financial challenges: Eloise Bell, the nurse who launched Bermuda Air Medivac, said she was concerned Mr Darrell's service might hit the same financial problems that hers did

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Published November 30, 2015 at 8:00 am (Updated November 30, 2015 at 8:59 am)

Proposal for new air ambulance service

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