“I love my job and it is never boring”, said Reed Clawson, a Flight Paramedic

From April 20th to 28th , 2022, Reed Clawson has been in Haiti to volunteer with Haiti Air
Ambulance as part of its volunteering program. He started as an ambulance paramedic then chose
to become a flight paramedic. It’s been 9 years since he decided to do something a bit more
exciting by giving up being a teacher in high school to become health care provider.

“I was originally a high school teacher after college and determined that I wanted to do
something a bit more exciting. I went back to school to pursue work as a paramedic. I think that
was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I love my job and it is never boring!” he explained
about the choice of the medical field.

After flying in the US for years, the flight paramedic wanted to see how flight operations work in
other country. And he has chosen Haiti as he found out about the volunteer program. To hear
Reed, his choice over Haiti to volunteer is not different from the objectives set by Haiti Air
Ambulance to this program.

“I found out about the volunteer program a few years ago when I had a friend who worked for
Air Methods working there. As soon as the chance to volunteer program was re-started, I decided
I needed to do it. I really wanted to do it to see how flight operations work in other countries. I
also liked that it was an opportunity to volunteer in a capacity that was very much like my full
scope of practice/skills because a lot of volunteer opportunities are not as broad in terms of what
you would be doing” he stated.

As a matter of fact, on his very first flight, he was able to apply his theoretical knowledge on a
practical case of tetanus. He admits that he never seen a true case of tetanic spasm during his
experience as a paramedic. Something which has been enlightening for him.

“On my very first flight I learned about treating tetanus. While this is something I may have
learned about in school, I had never seen a true case of tetanic spasm. I also was able to help
transport several pediatric and neonatal patients, which is usually reserved for specialty teams in
the USA. So, it was enlightening to be exposed to new patient types” he rejoiced.

However, his best highlight refers to evacuate a patient from a cruise ship. The landing on the
pier was a unique landing zone experience to him.

“We flew a patient being evacuated from a cruise ship and we had to land on the pier. It was a
unique landing zone experience, and the first time I’d ever been on a cruise ship!” he revealed.

Reed Clawson has had a great time in Haiti. From his flight experiences to accommodations and
relationship with the staff, everything was on point to help him enjoying his volunteering.

“The living accommodations were nice, secure, and comfortable. The staff were all pleasant and
easy to get along with” he said.

About The HAA volunteer Program

The “Haiti Air Ambulance volunteer program is designed to bring Flight Nurses and Paramedics
from all over the world to experience Haiti. Each comes for 7-14 days and flies with our crew as
part of the team. It allows everyone to learn from each other”, said Cory Oaks, the Program
director of Haiti Air Ambulance.

Michelet Joseph