COVID-19 Update – Operation Medical Shield
San Diego CalDART and Ron Lovick have been working for the last month on Operation Medical Shield in support of San Diego hospitals and medical personnel fighting COVID-19. The effort began as a partnership with several organizations to gather PPE from the community at large and direct it to hospitals. When donations were exhausted, the operation pivoted to providing Ventilator donations to hospitals in need in San Diego county and elsewhere in California. These ventilators will be in short supply if the COVID-19 in pandemic gets worse.
San Diego CalDART is now partnering with Makerspace groups, helping them get money and quick delivery of parts for their manufacturing, and delivering units to where they are needed.
The Makerspace Groups are using a public domain ventilator, designed by MIT and refined by Rice University called the Apollo BVM Emergency Use Ventilator. Each ventilator costs about $500 to build, and there have already been requests for units from CalOES, the Navy’s USNS Mercy hospital ship docked in Los Angeles, and hospitals throughout the west.
You can help in this important effort by:
- Donating here (Target: $25,000 to build 50 units)
- Volunteering to organize flights using the CalDART DARP – contact email@example.com
- Volunteering to fly parts and units to various west coast locations – contact firstname.lastname@example.org
CalDART Medical Officer Dr. Daniel R. Masys has authored a white paper (click here) to help us safely operate our airplanes in possible cargo operations during this pandemic.
Improving California’s disaster resilience through general aviation
CalDART, The California DART Network, is building a statewide network of local Disaster Airlift Response Teams (DARTs) to improve California’s disaster resilience in the face of earthquakes, floods and similar events which impair regional surface transportation. DARTs utilize a common operating model and are located at airports around the state. CalDART is a wholly owned subsidiary of the The California Pilot Association – Membership in CalDART includes membership in CalPilots. DARTs provide logistics options for impacted communities, helping emergency managers, organizations, and citizens who are trying to move people or supplies into or out of a disaster zone. CalDART helps make California safer and less miserable during disasters, provides pilots one more way to engage in their love of flying, and helps make communities become more attached to their airports. Every pilot in the state can participate, improving California’s disaster resilience. CalDART allows general aviation relief efforts to spool up faster after the occurrence of an event, allows local communities to have better access to available air transportation services, and allows a wider variety of relief operations to be conducted, all in a safe, managed operating environment.
Mission Statement:CalDART prepares California pilots and ground personnel to provide volunteer emergency air transportation services to benefit communities experiencing a major earthquake, flood, or other event which degrades regional surface transportation.
Conops (Concept of Operations):The California DART Network (CalDART) consists of a volunteer Board of Directors leading a statewide group of volunteer DART Operators and DART Supporters at various airports. The DART Operator is a DART which conducts practice mobilization exercises once per year and which has been accepted by The California DART Network. The DART Operator consists of pilots and administrative staff who together organize and provide free air transportation during an emergency under Part 91 flight rules. The DART Operator encourages Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster (VOADs) and local city and county emergency managers to participate with them in their practice exercises. DART Operators can request Mutual Aid from other DART Operators and from DART Supporters in the California DART Network Contact List. The DART Supporter is one or more pilots at an airport who don’t operate a DART, but who have agreed to call upon their local pilots to assist other DART Operators who request it, and who are able to call upon DART Operators in the California DART Network Contact List for their community’s assistance. Additionally, DART Supporters are encouraged to reach out to the VOADs and emergency managers in communities around the airport to let them know they can request airlift resources to help cope with a local disaster. In a DART, volunteer pilots do what they already know how to do – fly from one airport to another and give people or things a ride. A variety of other DART volunteers guided by a DART Incident Commander, a Flight Operations Manager, a Materiel Manager, a Ramp Manager, and a Recruitment Manager assemble the team, take in flight requests, weigh the cargo, assign materiel and passengers to be transported on specific aircraft, maintain safety, help pilots load, and so on. Air transportation services can include:
- Air commute services between homes and places of work for disaster workers
- Movement of emergency workers, medical staff, and medicines into the area
- Large scale food airlift into the area
- Transfer of displaced individuals and families to distant locations where they have family or friends who can care for them
- Movement of ambulatory medical patients to out-of-area facilities
- Relocation of nursing home residents to out-of-area facilities who can care for them
- Reservoir and levee reconnaissance, search and rescue, aerial photography (backup to Civil Air Patrol)