By: R. Michael Brown, Communications Director, Civic Association — UPDATE 10-4-2017 –: The Eagles’ Wings Foundation (EWF) continues to provide humanitarian assistance to people affected by Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico.
An unlikely Palm Beach County pair bring relief to Puerto Rico
South Palm Beach resident Victor Hernandez, a Puerto Rican native who owns hotels on the island, and Scott Lewis, a Palm Beach landscaper who runs an organization of first responders, had never met before Friday. But the pair seemed a perfect match last weekend after Hurricane Maria decimated Puerto Rico.
EWF has flown more than 100 people with special needs from San Juan, Puerto Rico to Ft. Lauderdale, FL where they were received by family members for transport to local medical facilities. Fire rescue and paramedics were also on stand-by to provide emergency assistance if any evacuees required immediate care.
“These senior citizens had medical conditions that required constant attention, said Scott Lewis, founder and president of the foundation. “They had already been impacted by the loss of local support infrastructure and we had to get them off the island.”
EWF located, transported, and medically supervised the senior citizens throughout the mission and ensured their safe passage under the supervision of the EWF Medical Unit Leader.
Once on-scene in San Juan, Puerto Rico, EWF secured several patients at the airport and deployed an extraction team to transport additional senior citizens from a local nursing home. With direct guidance and assistance from the U.S. Coast Guard District 7, EWF also extracted a frail elderly woman in desperate need of assistance. Once located, these senior citizens were transported to the airport and immediately loaded onto one of two flights to South Florida.
Sixteen citizens were transported to Palm Beach International Airport where they were picked up by relatives who were standing-by for their arrival.
Palm Beach County Fire Rescue personnel were there to address any emergency medical concerns and provide transport to a local hospital in the event of a medical emergency. Members of Searcy, Denny, Scarola, Barnhart & Shipley, who supported the mission with $40,000 in donations were on hand as well.
“Palm Beachers are stepping up with donations for these vital flights into the disaster area,” said Mr. Lewis. “We need more donations to keep the flights going as long as they are needed.”
In addition to the people that were evacuated, an additional 25+ senior citizens have been identified for extraction and are standing-by for subsequent flights planned and approved by Washington, DC for Friday and Sunday mornings.
EWF continues to receive requests for assistance and will continue supporting the citizens of Puerto Rico for as long as possible.
EWF is currently accepting donations to provide the citizens of Puerto Rico with the emergency assistance that they require to recover from the impact of Hurricane Maria. In addition to extracting more evacuees, EWF also is assisting with transporting 60 technical specialists from various agencies into San Juan so as to maximize the impact of every flight.
For more information about the EWF deployment to San Juan, Puerto Rico in response to Hurricane Maria, please contact Matt Campbell at (561) 329-0068 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Nail-biting rescue from Puerto Rico gets seniors out
By Kimberly Miller
Eighty-year-old Madelaine Hennessey knew two things Tuesday — she needed to get to the battered Isla Grande Airport in Puerto Rico for a precarious rescue attempt or the sputtering generator keeping her oxygen flowing might be her end.
But it wasn’t until Scott Lewis, who runs the West Palm Beach-based Eagles Wings Foundation, learned of Hennessey’s plight that there was hope of an extraction.