It’s a cold snowy night coming home from a day with your friends and family and you can barely see out the windshield and these unfamiliar roads are icy. Suddenly, you see car headlights swerving back and forth in front of you and you attempt to swerve out of the way but it is too late. The car smashes you head on. Then the car behind you, unable to stop, crashes into the back of your car. There isn’t any way an ambulance can make it up these icy roads, and you look over to see that your friend is unconscious in the passenger seat. How are you all going to get medical attention quickly? Thanks to aeromedical evacuation, the rare position my older sister Abby wants to pursue as her career, you don’t have to worry.
Aeromedical evacuation, which is the “movement of patients under medical supervision to and between medical treatment facilities using air transportation,” was started in 1947 and is a part of the United States Air Force. This can be very helpful during wars, multi-vehicle car crashes, train wrecks, and after a tornado or hurricane. Abby would be a flight nurse, the medic in the helicopter ready to take care of the patient.
Abby learned of this medical field in eighth grade when she had to do a project for her school. “I have always been interested in the medical field and I think that this branch of EMS [Emergency Medical Services] will not only provide the fast paced environment that I crave, but also will allow me to help others. You heard about nurses but how many people have you heard of with a career like this?” says Abby. Right now, Abby is going to college for her nursing degree and then she will choose whether she will join the Air National Guard of first work as a registered nurse to gain training, and then become a flight nurse. Abby told me that it will be a challenge for her to get a job as a flight nurse because there isn’t as big a need for this kind of job. “As a flight nurse you only get called out for big emergencies not like an EMT who also helps someone with a broken bone or difficulty breathing,” explains Abby.
Most people hope they would never need the services of the aeromedical evacuation, but it’s comforting to know that people are brave enough to be ready if needed like my sister, Abby.
Anne Nelson is an eighth-grader at Schenectady Christian School in Schenectady