Aeromedical documentary by Rebecca Abbott and Tim Malloy.
Aeromedical is a 28-minute, Emmy Award-winning documentary about the life-and-death struggle that takes place every week in the skies above Europe on Aeromedical evacuation missions, and about the storied history of these life-saving flights. The United States Air Force regularly runs aeromedical evacuation missions carrying wounded soldiers from battlegrounds in America’s current conflicts to the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany, often within hours of their injury on the battlefield. From there, the most seriously wounded -- many are amputee victims of IED explosions -- are transported to major military hospitals in the US, where they can arrive in as few as three days of their initial injury. The survival rate is an astounding 98%. This was not always the case, however. It has taken nearly 100 years of effort, starting in 1918 with the first aeromedical rescue in a Curtis JN-4H Jenny bi-plane, to perfect this combination of medicine and aviation. Missions now take place on C-17, C130 and KC135 military transport aircraft that have been converted into flying trauma wards. It is a story both of the heroism of soldiers who have risked their lives on the battlefield, and of the doctors, nurses, technicians, and aviation crews, many of them women and 88% of them members of the National Guard and Reserves, who for most of a century have been fighting to keep them alive.
Aeromedical was filmed between June and December of 2011. Location shoots took place in June and November of 2011 at Bagram Air Force Base and Gazni in Afghanistan; at Ramstein AFB and Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany; and Andrews AFB in Virginia. Archival film of the history of aeromedical evacuation was made available by the National Archives and Records Administration. The film was completed in April, 2012.