An International Air Ambulance Trip from Lebanon to Texas on the Gulfstream IV: The First Steps
As a worldwide air ambulance provider, at MedFlight911 we've come to expect the unexpected – every air medical transport we deal with is unique, after all. But a recent transport that we coordinated from Lebanon to the United States was unlike anything we'd ever experienced.
It started when we received an inquiry about arranging a transport from Beirut, Lebanon, to Houston, Texas. Initially, it sounded like we'd be transporting an older man who was traveling to the U.S. for cancer treatment, along with three of his family members. We put together a quote for the transport based on that information.
But then we heard again from the patient's daughter, who was working with us to set up the air medical transport. She told us that in addition to the patient and three passengers, there would be another four passengers. That meant we needed to arrange a transport for the patient and seven other people, plus the medical flight crew and the pilots. Suddenly a complicated transport had turned into an extremely complicated transport.
The greater number of passengers meant that we had to rethink virtually every detail of the air medical transport. To get the patient and his accompanying family members on the same flight, we'd need to use a heavy jet, but a medically configured jet that could accommodate the patient and multiple passengers didn’t exist (except in stripped-down military version that would not be comfortable at all for such a long flight). However, after conferring again with the family, we realized that the patient was mobile and didn’t need a stretcher. That opened up our options in terms of aircraft, and we were able to make arrangements to transport the patient from Lebanon to Texas on a Gulfstream IV jet.
Of course, given the complexity of this worldwide air ambulance transport, our job was far from over. The family wanted to depart for the U.S. in just a few days, which meant some quick work on our part to make sure that everything was in order to make sure the flight would go smoothly, from coordinating an international bank transfer to putting together the medical crew that would travel with the patient.
Finally, we were able to leave the Scottsdale area (where we’re headquartered) for Beirut. Along with the two members of the MedFlight911 medical flight crew, we also had four pilots on board (a pilot and co-pilot, plus a back-up pilot and co-pilot), and a flight attendant. We made the long flight to Keflavik, Iceland, where we rested overnight and dropped off one set of pilots to get their FAA-required duty rest. Leaving two of the pilots in Iceland meant that once we picked up the patient, we could fly to Texas with just a quick stop (rather than another overnight) to pick up the then-rested pilots in Iceland.
From Keflavik it was on to Beirut, where we'd meet our patient and his extended family. Tune in later this week to find out how the transport itself went.
To find out more about MedFlight911's worldwide air ambulance services give us a call at 888-359-1911 or get a no-obligation air medical transport quote here.