Friday, September 22, 2017

REVA: Air ambulance crew rescues pregnant military member after Irma



It was an unforgettable mission after an unprecedented storm.

“It is usually a lush, green, tropical island, and we broke out and it was completely brown. The trees were bare. There were no leaves,” said REVA pilot Ben Watsky.

REVA is a medical air transport service with a team based at Schenectady County Airport. After Hurricane Irma ripped through the Virgin Islands, Ben was part of a REVA crew called on to rescue a 35-week pregnant U.S. military member who was trapped in her home on St. Thomas.

“You could see the houses on the coastline and the cliffs, windows were blown out. Roofs were off their houses,” said Watsky.

The woman was flown to a hospital outside Washington, D.C. She and her then-unborn child were both believed to be in good health at the time.

“It was a situation that could’ve turned into a medical emergency. It wasn’t currently, but if she waited any longer, it probably would’ve been,” said Watsky.

The trip was made using one of REVA's new Hawker 800XP airplanes. Two pilots were on board with three medical personnel. The plane can make its way to the U.S. Virgin Islands and back without having to stop and refuel.

Company officials say in recent weeks, their entire fleet has been focused on the Caribbean and Puerto Rico. They’ve transported nearly double the normal number of patients for this time of year.

“We’ve also converted some of our aircraft to more of a cargo configuration,” said Philip Spizale, REVA’s chief sales officer.

In addition to its normal business, REVA is also delivering essential supplies to areas devastated by recent storms.

“Fly those over to Puerto Rico to where the people need it most, and then as soon as we have access, throughout the Virgin Islands where the hospital systems are going to be in dire need over the coming weeks,” said Spizale.

They’re giving back to the very communities that helped REVA get off the ground, allowing them to fly these lifesaving missions.

“It’s like no other flying job that you can do. Having the opportunity to fly these aircraft and go pick these patients up and help people interact one-on-one is absolutely rewarding,” said Watsky.

Story and video:  http://www.twcnews.com

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