Combining a passion for flying and a desire to save lives - EBAA

Desirable

Combining a passion for flying and a desire to save lives

An intensive care anaesthetist in a hospital, I am also incredibly lucky to work in an air ambulance team. I have done this for nearly 40 years, starting out as a young medical student and now I am Medical Director, responsible for medical evacuations. My job allows me to combine the best of both worlds: a passion for flying and a desire to save lives, explains Dr. Hamida Chaouky, Medical Director at Airlec Médical.
In many cases, a business jet is the only means to save someone’s life.

Each emergency is different, but in many cases, a business jet is the only means to save someone’s life. We once travelled overnight with a team of pediatricians to save a child who had been stung by a scorpion, bringing him to a hospital’s intensive care unit in enough time.

We are also often the only chance for repatriating patients during the holiday high season, when commercial flights and charters cannot accept stretchers.

We even have to intervene in war zones, which are often impossible to access with commercial aviation.

What motivates me most is that I am helping people in need, no matter what they do or where they may be.

The air ambulance business jet not only allows us to reach areas not served by commercial aviation, but also to replicate a hospital emergency room with critical care equipment, or to isolate patients when they are infectious. I recently undertook a mission where we flew a patient from Pointe Noire in the Congo to Beijing. 

What motivates me most is that I am helping people in need, no matter what they do or where they may be. The only criterion that counts is their medical condition and what we can do to help them survive. I truly believe Business Aviation is a health imperative, without which many people would needlessly lose their lives. 

Strong relationships and comradery matter.

In an air ambulance business jet, we are always a full team on board, including pilots, mechanics, doctors and nurses. We work closely together and trust each other implicitly, because in life or death situations, strong relationships and comradery matter. The pilots understand our medical constraints and the doctors understand that pilots must prioritise safety. This human dimension is an enriching part of an important, sometimes stressful, but deeply rewarding job. 

About Airlec

Airlec (Airlec Air Espace and Airlec Médical) was founded in 1958 in France. Equipped with 6 fixed wing aircraft, Airlec Médical employs some 100 nurses, doctors, technicians, operators and mechanics as well as 19 fulltime pilots.