BUCKHANNON – Gary Evans recently introduced Patient Airlift Services to the Buckhannon City Council. This is a nonprofit program founded in 2010. It is a charitable aviation organization that offers free flights through a volunteer aviation community. This is for individuals that require medical diagnosis, treatment, or follow up. There is no cost or limit to the amount of flight requests an individual can make. PALS welcomes military personnel to utilize the PALS for patriot’s program which transports military personnel. They also volunteer their services for humanitarian purposes through the PALS Sky Hope Disaster Relief Program. This is in response to an immediate need for relief workers or supplies in the event of natural disaster.
The PALS network of volunteer pilots and aviation partners donate their time, expertise, and aircraft, receiving no compensation. They are paying it forward and using their unique assets for the benefit of others in their community. They are a lifeline in transporting people where they need to be. The pilots meet a series of rigorous qualifications and safety standards to ensure that all passengers are safe and in good hands. PALS connects patients with a talented and giving aviation community, and opens doors to provide treatment where someone may not be able to obtain it. Once the patient has landed at their destination, PALS also connects them to a group called “auto pilots” that will drive them to their destination.
To meet eligibility requirements, a patient must be ambulatory. They have to be able to sit up and get in and out of a four to six seater plane. The cabin is not pressurized, and so they have to be able to fly in a non-pressurized plane. The location must be at least a two-hour drive away, and a financial need has to be verified.
Gary Evans said, “This program gives hope to people who have lost all hope.” Many of the patients who utilize PALS services are too weak and fragile to endure long waits and delays at commercial airports. “It also provides the added benefit of avoiding public places when a patient’s immune system is compromised,” Gary added.
Many people can become a volunteer for pals,” said Gary Evans. PALS always welcomes support from pilots to fly, they also accept donations, in memorial of a loved one or corporate sponsorship. For more information, you can call 631-694-7257 or visit the website at www.PALSflight.org