SUPPORTING LIFE - Thomas Redder, Vice President of International Marketing, Spectrum Aeromed
Since 1991, EMS aircraft operators have chosen Spectrum Aeromed for custom solutions to the most complex and comprehensive EMS aircraft interior requirements. And, for over 25 years, the US-based company has “supported life” through its design and development of fixed and rotary-wing air ambulance medical interiors for hospital programs, military branches, multi-mission charters and private operators, as well as custom VIP emergency medical interior suites for executive aircraft and heads of state. Spectrum Aeromed, which has offices in Germany and in Tennessee, is now expanding its reach and hoping to help save more lives than ever before.
“As an AS9100-certified company, Spectrum Aeromed ensures safety and quality throughout the development process,” explains the company’s Vice President of International Marketing, Thomas Redder.
When a customer seeks out assistance for their medical interior needs, solutions are customized to adequately serve the customer and several factors must be considered, continues Redder. “Aircraft size and range will determine the quantity of oxygen. We must also know which mission type the aircraft will be flown for, which could be a range of missions including, search and rescue (SAR), medical evacuation, casualty evacuation and first response.”
The Spectrum Aeromed team would then analyze this information and suggest the most suitable concept to the client. The team would present this in a clear and concise way, utilizing 3D models to showcase a realistic depiction.
“Once the customer decides on a technical solution, the engineering team would develop the certification and the system would get built,” continues Redder. “This process often includes aircraft operators, medical crew and aircraft maintenance staff.”
Transforming an aircraft cabin into a makeshift hospital is no easy feat, but Spectrum Aeromed is well-equipped to perform the job. With supplemental type certificates (STCs) for over 400 aircraft models across the world, the company is industry-approved and prepared to modify a wide-range of aircraft, wherever their customers are.
For fixed and rotary wing aircraft, a number of solutions are available — a basic life support system, infant transport or multiple-patient life support configuration. One of the more unique products is the Seat Rail Adapter, allowing an aircraft to be converted from its standard configuration to an air ambulance configuration in less than 30 minutes. Exclusively designed by Spectrum Aeromed are the Medwall, Moveable Overhead and Stretcher Bridge, all of which allow for flexibility and safety in mounting carry-on medical equipment.
These designs and solutions are catching the attention of the ever-expanding Asian market. “We are seeing increasing EMS activity throughout Asia, particularly in Southeast Asia, India and China,” says Redder. While the company, which has 80% of its customers based outside of the US, has been active in Asia for almost 10 years, it is now seeing a shift from simple systems to more complex solutions, including its Intensive Care System.
The Intensive Care System consists of a stretcher on a module that provides medical oxygen, suction, compressed air and electric power, and is equipped with a ventilator, a set of syringe pumps, defibrillator and a monitor for the patient’s vital signs. The system is essentially, as Redder explains, “an ICU in the air”, creating a sort of mobile hospital that often treats life threatening injuries.
In September 2017, Redder and his team successfully exhibited at the China Helicopter Exhibition in Tianjin, China, presenting its Pivot System. For now, Spectrum Aeromed will continue to build its presence in the market and continue to support those it already works with.
Serving clients in the US or abroad, the company manages to stand out among its competition. “Spectrum Aeromed is a small company, with a stringent lean process, allowing us to react fast and efficient,” explains Redder. “Our on-time delivery rate is about 96%.”
The team, made up of over 25 employees, has established and maintained quality relationships with aircraft operators and customers, traveling to discuss requirements and the most suitable interior options, which begin with the details, like ‘which type of power and gas outlet?’.
Spectrum Aeromed’s exceptional working attitude and environment has led the company to praise in several news outlets. The small business and startup magazine Inc. has named Spectrum Aeromed one of the 5,000 fastest growing companies, multiple times. Entrepreneur Magazine ranked the company on its Top Company Cultures list and its list of Best Entrepreneurial Companies in America.
Today, Spectrum Aeromed’s operations continue to run smooth. In 2017, Spectrum sold its first fully carbon fiber system to a military customer, which not only reduces the weight in the cabin, but allows for easier and more thorough cleaning and disinfection. The coming years will also see several new STCs for turboprops, small jets and airliners, as well as more EMS solutions for helicopters.
“We have a willingness to provide highly customized solutions to meet each customer’s requirements,” says Redder. “This does not end with providing an integrated system, but includes medical devices, after sales service and training. We are committed to each customer, their needs and to saving lives.”