It was not predestined. It was not even a dream. In fact, it was just the desire to do a fun job, andsuddenly, Joey Loehner fell in love with the medical field. Since the beginning of this love affair,he has been an EMT, then a Paramedic, and finally a Registered Nurse. Above all, he hasdecided to meld his background in the medical field with his fascination for helicopters tobecome a Flight Paramedic/Nurse. He has come down in Haiti to volunteer with HAA as part ofthe volunteering program.
Haiti Air Ambulance: Can you introduce yourself with all the possible details?Joey Loehner: Hey there! My name is Joey Loehner, and I live in Reno, NV. I am a Flight
Paramedic/RN, and primarily work in New Mexico. I have been working flight for 6.5 years and
have been in EMS for 11 years.
HAA: What can explain the choice you have made for medical field, the beginning and howdo you feel so far being a flight paramedic/nurse?J. L.: I ended up in medicine by accident. I was looking for a job that sounded fun, and that led
me to becoming an EMT. I ended up falling in love with medicine and found that I wasn’t too
terrible at it! This led me to becoming a Paramedic, and later a Registered Nurse. From the time I
was very young, I remember being fascinated with helicopters. Shortly after becoming a
Paramedic, I realized that I could meld two things that I was interested in. I started preparing
myself for a future in Flight Medicine almost immediately after Paramedic school, and
eventually found myself in the position to take an opportunity to fly. Since then, it has been
nothing but moving forward! I truly enjoy this profession and intend to continue down this road
for the foreseeable future.
HAA: What are your hobbies besides medical stuff?
J. L.: I spend most of my spare time riding motorcycles or snowboarding. I am an avid fan of
doing anything that takes me outside!
HAA: Why Haiti to volunteer? How did that happen?J. L.: I first heard about Haiti Air Ambulance 5 or 6 years ago. I remember thinking that it would
be an amazing experience to participate in such a great cause. Life and work happened, and it
ended up on the backburner for a few years. About a year ago, I decided that I needed to make
getting to Haiti a priority. I am incredibly thankful and happy that I was able to make that
HAA: Can you tell us more about your first-time volunteering with HAA?J. L.: My time with HAA was incredible. I have been fortunate enough to travel a decent amount
in my short life, and the scenery in Haiti still took my breath away. The staff at HAA are truly
phenomenal. I felt welcomed from the minute I arrived and met with Kelly and Emilio to head to
the base. I was impressed with the focus and dedication demonstrated from the get-go. The
attention to the safety of the staff is incredible. Emilio and Antiouse work so hard to make sure
that we stay safe while in Haiti. During my time at the base, I was lucky enough to work with the
Haitian staff at HAA. I have to say, every single local staff member that I interacted with was the
epitome of professionalism and focus. It is abundantly clear that all the staff at HAA are truly
focused on providing a world class service to the Haitian people. All the staff demonstrated
medical skill and safety practices that would rival almost any Air Medical program in the United
States. It is amazing to see an operation that is funded and operated with the sole purpose of
providing lifesaving care to the people of Haiti- free of cost.
HAA: Would you want to share a highlight during your flights in Haiti?J. L.: The highlight of my trip was caring for critically ill patients who likely would not have
survived without Haiti Air Ambulance. It is impossible not to feel and see that HAA is making a
tangible difference in the life span of the Haitian people. It is a service that is desperately needed,
and it is needed even more than HAA can keep up with. The requests for service far outnumber
the hours of the day, and it will be awesome to see how HAA grows to meet the overwhelming
needs of Haiti.
HAA: Why would you come for a second time?J. L.: I would absolutely come back to Haiti. The staff at HAA were genuinely fun to be around,
and I was able to participate in a mission that exists for one reason- to improve the health of the
people of Haiti. I flew with so many incredible Haitian EMTs- Oberto, Roc, Prime, and Benia.
Drs. Junior, Mimi, and Dyemy showed me that there are motivated and skilled Physicians who
are actively working to improve the conditions in Haiti. The brilliant and creative Comms staff
of Patrick, Schamma, Michelet, and more showed me that a genuine desire to help people can be
paired with an intimate knowledge of local affairs to find patients the care that they so
desperately need. Pilots Adam and Patrick demonstrated exceptional aviation ability, as well as a
focused attention to detail. I also want to take a quick second here to give a massive shoutout to
Beekeeper Dave! Not only was he my roommate for the duration of the trip, but he also gave
N407J a level of care and attention to detail that made me never worry about getting in the
aircraft. I have worked with many mechanics over my career, and I honestly do not know if I
have worked with someone who has the attention to detail that Dave has. Every single flight, he
would be there when we landed. Every single time we would get back in the aircraft for another
flight, it would be back to pristine condition due to his hard work. It was incredibly reassuring
knowing that I was going to be flying in an aircraft that was treated with such focus and care by
Overall, I cannot say enough good things about what Haiti Air Ambulance is doing. The people
and the mission are as pure and as dedicated as one would imagine. I look forward to hopefully
returning in the future!!