The expedited delivery of emergency medical equipment to California, which has been hard-hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, was performed by Daher in a joint effort with Percussionaire Corporation, the producer of ventilators for treatment of critically ill patients.
Daher and Percussionaire both have operations in Sandpoint, Idaho, and they teamed up to airlift 240 high-frequency percussive ventilators to California's capital city of Sacramento during two flights on April 15-16, utilising a new-production Kodiak 100 Series II airplane.
“Daher has the same culture of helping people as Percussionaire, and we recognised the importance of making the airlift resources available for this life-saving equipment,” explains Nicolas Chabbert, senior vice president of the Daher aircraft division.
Jason Eddy, vice president of operations at Daher's Sandpoint facility, adds: “These delivery flights also exemplified how Kodiak airplanes are regularly used in point-to-point dedicated air service, as well as between remote locations. This is why the Kodiak was created, and is invaluable in bringing communities together around the world.”
Contacts between Daher and Percussionaire were established via the Bonner County Economic Development Corporation, which is a non-profit organisation dedicated to providing resources and support for North Idaho businesses. The city of Sandpoint is located in Bonner County.
The delivered ventilators are part of a 1,000-plus unit order received by Percussionaire from the California Department of Public Health's Emergency Preparedness Office in Sacramento. For the airlift, Daher provided the Kodiak 100 Series II airplane and pilots.
Mark Baillie, Percussionaire Corporation's president and chief executive officer said he first considered using commercial airfreight for the Idaho-to-California shipment as the ventilators were coming off the company's production line.
“This would have required us to transport them by road to a major airport, undergo processing and wait until an airline flight was available, then repeat the processing and trucking on the other end,” Baillie says. “The Kodiak enabled us to transport our equipment directly from Sandpoint to Sacramento in a flight of under four hours, which was truly phenomenal.”
The Percussionaire Corporation TXP 5 ventilators provided to California utilise a disruptive high-frequency percussive ventilation technology that safely supplies more air and/or gasses to a patient's lungs than other systems. The technology has been proven through such uses as treating injured military personnel during the Desert Storm Gulf War. Percussionaire Corporation readapted the system from its current prenatal care applications for hospital use with COVID-19 patients, developing the repackaging/adaptation in less than 24 hours, including the use of 3D modelling.