FIRST AIR AMBULANCE
First Air Ambulance Service
The first civilian uses of aircraft as ambulances were probably incidental. In northern Canada, Australia, and in Scandinavian countries, remote, sparsely populated settlements are often hard to reach by road for months at a time, or even the whole year. In some places in Scandinavia, particularly in Norway, the primary means of transportation between communities is by boat. Early in aviation history, many of these communities began to rely on civilian “bush” pilots, who fly small aircraft and transport supplies, mail, and visiting doctors or nurses. Bush pilots probably performed the first civilian air ambulance trips, but clearly, a need for these services existed. In the early 1920s, Sweden established a standing air ambulance system, as did Siam (Thailand). In 1928 the first real, full-time air ambulance service was established in the Australian outback. This organization became the Royal Flying Doctor Service and still operates today. In 1934, Marie Marvingt established the first civil air ambulance service in Africa, in Morocco.In 1936, air ambulance services were established as part of the Highlands and Islands Medical Service to serve more remote areas of Highland Scotland.
Air ambulances quickly established their usefulness in remote locations, but their role in developed areas grew slowly. After World War II, the Saskatchewan government in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada, established the first civilian air ambulance in North America. The Saskatchewan government had to consider remote communities and great distances in providing health care to its citizens. The Saskatchewan Air Ambulance service continues to be active as of 2011.
J. Walter Schaefer founded the first air ambulance service in the U.S, in 1947, in Los Angeles. The Schaefer Air Service, operated as part of Schaefer Ambulance Service. Schaefer Air Service was also the first FAA-certified air ambulance service in the United States. When the Saskatchewan and Schaefer services began, para-medicine was still decades away, and unless a physician or nurse accompanied the patient, air ambulances primarily provided medical transportation. A great deal of the early use of aircraft as ambulances in civilian life, particularly rotary-winged aircraft, involved the improvised use of aircraft that belonged to the military. Eventually, this became more organized. This occurred not only in the United States, but also in other countries, and persists today.
Many years down the line - Air Ambulance was just a dream in India.
The First ICU ground ambulance started in Mumbai India by dr N Yende as the first full fledged cardiac mobile ambulance which operated in the city of Mumbai carrying critical patients from Home to Hospitals and small Nursing homes to Major hospitals in the city of Mumbai India. As the services gained in name and volume over many years - in the year 1996 - He started the first Air Ambulance service in India.
The first flight was a Helicopter patient transfer from Gujarat to Mumbai - a critical patient who was brought by air to take treatment in one of the major hospitals in Mumbai. The flight was a success.
Dr N Yende in the year 2000 visited the United states and worked for the Air Ambulance services for over 2 years to understand the working and gaining knowledge about flying a successful and professional Air Ambulance service.
Coming back home with brain full of knowledge and hand full of skill - he established the first full fledged Air Ambulance service which could evacuate patient on fixed wing aircrafts on domestic and international sectors.
The first flights were done on Cessna Caravan and Kingair C 90 turboprop aircrafts and later upgraded to Citation jets. International transfers were carried on Hawker 800 and Citation excel mainly to neighbouring countries in Kathmandu Nepal, Karachi Pakistan, Kabul Afghanistan, Myanmar, Colombo Srilanka.
As operation and experience grew, the Air Ambulance missions were further expanded to Middle east to Oman Muscat, UAE - Dubai and Abu dhabi, Riyadh and Dammam in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iraq and other GCC countries.
Before long, Commercial flight transportation of patients were replaced by Charter flights all over Europe and United kingdom and various parts of Africa including Kenya Uganda Tanzania.
With new based in Middle east in Dubai - flying could be done at short notice to South Africa, West Africa and other countries in West Europe including Germany, France, Italy and Spain.
With increasing business and new affiliate partners in the United states, the services expanded to North and South America including the Islands of Bahamas and Hawaii.
With large Jets like Challenger 604 and Gulfstream III available in Middle east - Europe - Air Ambulance services became faster and more efficient.
Pediatric transportation also could be done professionally with a dedicated team of Pediatricians specialised in PALS and Intensive care.
Organ transplant gained in popularity and practice.
So it became a big part of Air Ambulance transportation all over USA and Asia.
Singapore became a hub for liver and kidney transplant and many patients from all over Middle east and South Asian countries flew to Singapore in Air Ambulance jets and Commercial flight stretchers to take treatment in places like Elizabeth hospital and Singapore General Hospital.
The expansion of Air Ambulance was dramatic in the last 10 years.