This is a republication of content originally posted to – https://medium.com/@czmilosz/two-generations-working-on-a-solution-1a1e87f51421
I am posting it here so that we can better edit and respond to questions and changes. Thanks for your understanding. The initial introduction was written by my father, Steve Pankratz.
BEGIN STEVE PANKRATZ WRITING——
The information/proposal below was brainstormed by my brother, David Pankratz. David is a retired corporate pilot with a unique life experience in aviation. He is also blessed with a creative mind.
I am making this available to my friends in order to broadcast Davidâ€™s Idea. I have checked with him regarding intellectual property issues. We both grew up on a Minnesota farm and know that in tough times like these, itâ€™s not about power and profit, but the commonness of humankind and the value in recognizing strength in coming together. So, feel free to share this idea with anyone who is interested and especially folks and groups interested in developing the idea.
BEGIN DAVID PANKRATZ WRITING———-
To whom it may concern:
I have organized some thoughts and ideas on the utilization of the numerous airliners that are now idle, and parked all over the world. Most of these aircraft are just off recent service, and can quickly be reconfigured and made available at various locations where the need for hospital bed space in urgent. The general idea is not to transport patients, but to bring the largest planes to major airports where the patients can be brought to an dedicated and isolated airport concourse gate, where they can then board one of these aircraft which have been reconfigured for emergency patient assessment, testing, and ventilator/ICU treatment as indicated.
Beginning with close coordination with knowledgeable and qualified hospital nurses, doctors, technicians, health officials, airline executives, city mayors/state governors, and perhaps Boeing/Airbus systems engineers, I believe these planes could each be stripped overnight of all seats and non-essential equipment (lavs, sinks, micro-wave ovens, etc, should be left in place). The cabins would be cleaned and prepped to hospital standards now in use. For reconfiguration, the next phase might require the plane be flown to where the beds and medical equipment are located, or the equipment be brought to the location of the plane and the technical personnel. Emergency hospital beds/cots could be installed with appropriate spacing and separation, and with minimal disruption to the floor fittings. Required medical equipment and machines could then be hooked into the aircraft/ground electrical, air, and oxygen systems already on board. WiFi could be used for telemetry transmission to hospital center for monitoring and tracing purposes. Overhead compartments would be stocked with supplies and equipment. I have no idea how this would be funded, but I am convinced it can be done logistically, and quickly.
Once configured, each plane would be flown to a suitable airport in the area or city of urgent need. The planes should be met with all necessary ground support, including electric, air conditioning and purification filtering, human waste, and bio-hazard disposal equipment. This equipment would be manned 24/7, until the plane is no longer needed. It could then be re-assigned as necessary.
These planes, then, would be mobile ER or hospital units. They would not fly patients, but would serve in place on the ground as an urgent, temporary facility, to relieve and augment the needs of the areas in the US which may become overwhelmed.
I did some rough math after consulting with an ER RN, and a friend who runs the respiratory therapy dept. for a major hospital. With reference to dimensions of the main and upper A-380 decks, the total square area of 6880 sq. ft. would allow for approximately 100 to 115 beds, with proper separation and working clearance for nurses/doctors/techs to move around each bed. The B-777 could accommodate 30-50 beds, depending on required care level. Much of the equipment could be stowed in the overhead baggage compartments, and some under each bed. Also, Boeing in ICT has recently laid off nearly 7,000 people. I can imagine that some could be called back to help accomplish these reconfigs. Most interestingly, my brother Steve, who lives in ICT, said there is a Boeing/Airbus group there that works together on different projects.
I hope that people who read about this concept will transmit it to the people who can make this happen, anywhere in the world where it is needed. Please read the article at the link. I am open to suggestions. Thanks!