Can We Stand Another Med Evac Jet?

Yes, since this one is home ported here, a huge advantage
BY: WILL RACE

There is a new medical evacuation company joining the several we already have. By several, we’re being deliberately vague, because they come and go, they are all simply contracted when needed, and nowadays even our local hospitals are claiming they have jets to whisk you to Canadian or American health care in time of dire need. Sure, they have a jet; they can drop a dime to a jet rental company, and that’s what most Gringos down here ride home. A hired jet. Which can be OK, but keep in mind your hospital administrator is going to get a piece of your money. And, often times they are only going to call that jet when you are out of money for more medical treatment. And often times jet evac insurance can be reluctant to fly down to fetch you home because, well, insurance companies are not crazy about paying off.

Dealing with these challenges is the same for all the companies, but one of them, new to the neighborhood, is CareJet, which at least has a company owned jet and is based here.

The advantage is time and availability. If you’re badly injured or terribly sick, you want to get home now, you don’t want to wait for a plane to arrive from the United States, which is going to take a minimum of three to four hours, by the time they get it staffed and launched and fly the length of the Baja.

CareJet’s Westwind 11 is hangered at the local Cabo San Lucas airport, (not to be confused with the big San Jose airport).

It’s staffed by local doctors who are undergoing additional training right now. Subjects studied are like, how to dial in the standard equipment when you’re at various altitudes. You want that plane to go as fast as possible, and that means higher, and they only pressurize it to a certain altitude, which varies with the terrain and patient’s needs. All of the docs speak English.

The Westwind is a work horse, not a glamour puss. It has found a niche in the medical market because of its low door, which facilitates easy patient loading, and spacious cabin, and because of its price and range: They are also easily fitted, as this one is, with auxiliary fuel tanks that can boost range to 2,900 nautical miles. That makes the Westwind the only light jet that can cross the Atlantic or the continental U.S. without refueling. Read: You Canadians can hurry home without stopping to re-fuel.

CareJet in Cabo is run by Terry Habeck, who has moved here from the South Pacific where the company has been doing business since 2006. They started in Guam, expanded into the Northern Mariana Islands, and then into the Philippines. “We’re not strangers to a challenging business environment,” says Habeck somewhat ruefully. We leave that alone. But he seems to know just what a political minefield the local medevac industry is, and seems to be qualified to handle it.

For more information, you can call Terry Habeck at 624205 4429. thaybeck@carejet.com. Yes, they have a website, but it’s pretty useless.