Category Archives: History

Historical Facts about Medical Air Transport

Most of our discussions have always revolved around insurances, scheduling, and other facts pertaining to medical air transport. Here, we veer a bit from our usual discussions and move towards a few fun facts that will also add to the pool of your general knowledge.

First Medical Air Transport Vehicle was actually a Balloon

Yes, you read it right, a balloon! An air balloon was first used in 1866 to rescue stranded sailors of a shipwreck. The rescue finds mention in Jules Verne’s Robur le Conquérant. The name of this medical air transport balloon was Albatross. Some time later, another air ambulance balloon was used to evacuate 160 soldiers from a city under siege in 1870.

The WW-I also Marked the Beginning of Medical Air Transport

Well, something good came out of the War that had left the world in shambles. The French were the first to recognize the importance of medical air transport. They estimated that the mortality rate would fall by 60% if medical air transport was made use of.

The first person to be rescued through a proper aircraft for medical reasons was as Serbian officer during World War I.

The credit of having an organized air ambulance service goes to the Nazi Germany, which in 1936 had a fleet of medical air transport vehicles. They first put it into use during the Spanish Civil War.

The First Civilian Medical Air Transport took Place in 1933

Private air ambulance services had still not come into picture. It was, in fact, the British Air Force that first started helping civilians. It was on May 14, 1933 that a fisherman who suffered a perforated stomach was transported through an air ambulance.

Switzerland caught up after World War II, mainly to aid in rescue missions involving mountains during winter sports.

Looking at these facts, we must feel fortunate knowing that the response time these days has gone down to just about 10 minutes during emergencies.

When was the first medEvac transport completed?

In 1926, the United States Army Air Corps used a converted DeHaviland aircraft to transport patients from Nicaragua to France Army Base in Panama, one hundred and fifty miles away. The first civilian air medical transport was completed in 1928 when a DeHaviland Fox Moth aircraft in the service of Australia’s Royal Flying Doctor Service took off on its first mission. The Royal Flying Doctor Service holds the distinction of being the first civilian air medical transport program.