The 338 Squadron sprang into action when the hospital in Tromso needed a heart and lung machine from St. Olav’s Hospital in Trondheim.
– The patient was so ill that he could not have survived otherwise. So all praise goes to the Armed Forces 338 squadron who responded so quickly. It saved the life of the patient, said Dr. Anders Wetting Carlsen at the hospital to the newspaper Adresseavisen.
The doctors had no way of transporting the machine to Tromsø quickly enough and asked the Armed Forces for help. This happened in early April.
– They agreed without asking any other questions than how big the machine was. 40 minutes after we contacted them an F-16 was in the air on their way northwards. In emergencies we usually send items with Jet Pack, but this transport really justifies that term, says Dr.Wetting Carlsen.
It was squadron leader Bjørge Kleppe at Ørland airfield that the hospital spoke with.
– 338 Squadron had a jet fighter that was ready on the runway as it was due to take part in an exercise at Rygge. We had the opportunity to re-prioritize, and thought this was so important that we should help, says Kleppe.
The pilot thus took a detour to Tromsø before heading to Rygge. Generally the fighters take between 30 and 35 minutes to Tromsø. This time they got there in 25 minutes.
– It’s very nice to be able to contribute something to the civilian society. Mostly what we do is not visible, so it’s nice that people see that we can rush to help, says the squadron commander.
Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today