When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the NHRMC AirLink team needed to be able to transport patients who were COVID positive or were suspected of being COVID positive. The flight crew needed masks to protect themselves, but traditional masks combined with flight helmets impaired their ability to communicate through the aircraft intercom and aviation radios.
So AirLink turned to the NHRMC Foundation, requesting $16,000 from the Emergency Response Fund to purchase 64 Tiger 5500 Performance Respirators. Understanding the necessity of providing emergency transport for our patients and protecting our teammates, the NHRMC Foundation quickly approved the request.
The Tiger 5500s maintain a mask seal that does not interfere with inflight communications systems. As soon as fit-testing and training is complete, crews will be able to care for contagious patients inflight and get them quickly and safely to their destination.
"We are grateful to the Foundation for quickly allocating the money needed for these respirators," said AirLink/VitaLink Director John Popella. "The care of our patients and the safety of our teammates are dependent on this purchase, and the Foundation, through the generosity of our community, is there to help us take care of our patients."