Air Ambulances & the Legacy of the Flying Doctor
Modern air ambulances originated in the first world war, when military corps quickly, and relatively safely, transferred injured soldiers out of the battlefield using air-planes. However, a civilian air medical service that began soon after, in the 1920s, can be said to have given the service its modern shape and ethos.
The Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia, nicknamed ‘Flying Doctor’, is more than 90 years old now, and is among the most widely respected Air Ambulance services. Started in 1928, the service flew more than 30,000km in 50 flights in its first year itself. Today, it has more than 79 Aircraft and covered 29 million km last year, and two major TV series have been made of this Australia-centered service.
But what makes RFDS special? And what can global Air Ambulance services learn from it? The Flying Doctor started out wholly with service in mind. It continues to operate as a non-profit that serves remote regions of the vast continent, where medical facilities are not highly developed. It carries out missions to rescue and repatriate citizens all over the continent, with emergency and critical needs, and also provides primary healthcare, education as well as 24×7 telehealth services and consultation.
The RFDS has earned the affection and goodwill of the Australian people primarily for their service. They take great and sustained efforts to serve people in need. They consider themselves a part of the community they serve, and go beyond the call of duty to make meaningful connections with people. They also strive to innovate and be resourceful in the less than ideal conditions they find themselves in.
We believe this should be the ethos of any Air Ambulance company, even a for-profit company. It makes the technical completion of tasks, ticking of checklists, or the operation of flights and equipment a bigger and more humane cause. Because people’s lives depend on it. Because people, with hopes and fears, are the center of our operation.
At Bluedot, although a very young Air Ambulance company, we have tried our best from inception to stay focused on service. We have valued human lives and situations more than profit margins and market competition, and this is reflected in our attention to detail and preparedness for every mission. This has also been the basis of the high standards we’re consistently trying to set in the industry.
We’ve organized medical escorts worldwide into a network (UMEN) capable of taking action swiftly and with the right verification regarding qualification, skill, and experience. We’ve empowered them, and patients and caretakers on both ends of the medical journey with access to real-time digital health records. And we insist only on CAMTS and EURAMI certified operators no matter which country the missions fly to.
We credit this ethos with our humble success so far: over 4000 assists worldwide and a 100% success rate. This is perhaps why we’re, increasingly, the first choice of medical, governmental, and business organizations in the middle east. So far, we have served over 100 embassies and consulates in 90 cities and countries. We’re looking forward to serving even more worldwide: by means of repatriation, rescue, treatment, and transfer.
But in all this, we hope to stay steadfast to our ethos, to serve humanity above all.
Hope. Positivity. Journeys of care.
At your service.