The lives of many people in Northern European Russia, who are cut off from the mainland by water and lack of roads, depend on the Air Ambulance Services. Some settlements in the Arkhangelsk region, like the ones within the territory of Nenets Autonomous Okrug, can only be reached by air. The doctors fly to seriously ill patients or to those who cannot otherwise access medical services independently. But more often patients have to be taken from smaller, local hospitals’ resuscitation units, which are significantly inferior to larger hospitals in the region in terms of the available medical equipment.
Each year, the air ambulance brigades complete over 500 flights and transport over 800 patients in the region, both children and adults. The brigade travels either by MI-8 helicopter, or by AN-2 or L-410 aircraft. On board there is everything necessary to provide emergency medical care and even carry out minor surgeries.
The brigade completes up to 4 flights each day. Each flight costs between 300,000 and 500,000 roubles (2500 and 6500 dollars). Air ambulance services operate in many Russian regions. For the residents of hard-to-reach areas they are often the only hope for survival.