Locally BasedThe only VI based Air Ambulance
Local PartnershipsOperational St. Croix base for Bohlke and AeroMD
Extensive Military ExperienceReliability, Repeatability and Effectiveness
Bohlke International Airways and partner AeroMD airlifted more than 100 critically ill patients from the Caribbean in the 105 days after Hurricanes Irma and Maria
Dr. Brendan Anzalone, president and chief medical officer with USVI-based AeroMD, Billy Bohlke told the conference about relief efforts after Hurricanes Irma and Maria. Partners in medical evacuation, BIA and AeroMD worked to get satellite communications, power and generators up and running ASAP.
After Irma, the team transported people to Puerto Rico where they boarded military aircraft to the States. The team also delivered supplies to St. Thomas, St. John, and the BVI. “We shipped all supplies from St. Croix to the Irma-hit people – baby formula, batteries, everything. Whatever we could do to help, we did,” he said. “So did the rest of our community.”
Maria had destroyed the Bohlke International Airways hangars and private terminal, but the staff at BIA and AeroMD never broke stride.
The Only VI Based Providers
As the only Virgin Islands-based air ambulance operator, AeroMD team members were first responders to those injured or ill during the hurricanes. Both hospitals in St Thomas and St Croix underwent major damage, so many patients had to be evacuated. There was an unprecedented need for patient movement post-storm, and federal response joined the relief effort with dozens of air ambulances answering the call for help.
The is a real significance of Bohlke and AeroMD's local connection. “Before we launched our services, medical evacuations in the Caribbean took days for insurance approval and arranging charter flights to come down from Florida. Our companies are based in the region, so we have significantly reduced that wait time down to hours. AeroMD specializes in hospital-to-hospital transport in fixed-wing aircraft provided by Bohlke International Airways.” Bohlke is a charter company headquarters in St. Croix.
The St Croix base that AeroMD shared with Bohlke International Airways, though, was 100-percent destroyed by Hurricane Maria. When the team returned from its evacuation location, there was no power, standard communications were disrupted, and even preparing food was a challenge. The leadership of AeroMD and Bohlke has extensive military experience deploying to austere combat and disaster zones, Adler said much of that experience was used, “A new operational base was secured and communications were achieved via a robust satellite communications capability AeroMD invested in pre-storm,” he added.
“Some of those first flights after the hurricanes required us to work with only the limited resources available after a major natural disaster,” said Dr Anzalone. “Our AeroMD and Bohlke team members showed exceptional resilience and commitment to the Caribbean community, working for many weeks from what appeared like a war zone post-storm. Since the hurricanes, we have developed an extensive operational base on St Croix, adjacent to the complex which houses members of our medical team.”
Local Partnership Provides Care at the Highest Level
All types of critical care/emergent cases can be transported by AeroMD, from pediatric to geriatric patients. The medical team is extensively trained to handle any case, but the most frequent patients are ones experiencing cardiac or neurological issues. With AeroMD, our local care teams meet patients at the hospital where they are initially assessed. That team remains by the patient’s side until they have briefed the team at the destination medical facility. Our teams work and train together every day, enabling them to provide streamlined and consistent patient care at the highest level.
AeroMD President and Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Brendan Anzalone said, “Since the founding of AeroMD, we have held ourselves to the highest standards for patient care. We are honored to have earned NAAMTA accreditation, to reiterate for our team and patients, that our procedures meet or exceed the industry’s best practices.”
AeroMD Air Ambulance serves our neighbors throughout the Caribbean and worldwide.
“My best case for survival was to be taken off-island.”
Charles Jaquays, AeroMD Patient
“You guys saved [my husband's] life.”
Eileen des Jardins, Patient Companion
“If it wasn't for [AeroMD], I wouldn't be here today.”
Hayley Rodriguez, AeroMD Patient