FFF Takes Decisive Action on 9/11

September 11, 2001 Media Release

SEP. 11, 2001 - TEMECULA, CALIF. - As public safety agencies struggled to quantify the devastation of Tuesday morning's terrorist attacks on the New York World Trade Center and the Pentagon, the uncounted victims began to fight for their lives. And, within hours, FFF Enterprises received the first of hundreds of urgent requests from eastern hospitals for human serum albumin, an essential treatment for burn victims.

FFF Enterprises is a Southern California biopharmaceuticals distributor and the nation's largest repository of albumin, a lifesaving product made from human blood. Despite its supply, though, FFF was stymied by the Federal Aviation Administration's shutdown of commercial air traffic.

 

Working with FedEx® Custom Critical, and gaining special FAA clearance for a medical emergency, FFF Enterprises prepares a convoy of trucks, holding over 70 pallets of albumin, headed for LAX and a waiting chartered 747 that also included human tissue supplies from the American Red Cross and the cargo's escort, a member of the Greater New York Hospital Association.

"Normally, we would simply have sent an emergency shipment using traditional delivery methods," explained Chris Ground, FFF's vice president of sales and marketing. "We could have put the albumin in East Coast hospitals by Tuesday evening, but the air traffic shutdown sent us scrambling."

Ground spent most of Tuesday calling public and private agencies, desperately searching for a resolution. Ultimately, with the assistance of Tony Leporis of FedEx® Custom Critical, FFF was able to charter a 747 jet and obtain FAA clearance for an emergency flight of the critical-care medicine to the East Coast. FedEx Custom Critical, an operating subsidiary of FedEx Corp., provides exclusive-use, time-specific shipment services throughout the U.S. and Canada and within Europe.

By four o'clock Tuesday evening, FFF warehouse staff were loading a convoy of trucks with 74 pallets of albumin vials, enough for 25,000 treatments. The convoy made its way to Los Angeles International Airport, where the medicine was transferred to the chartered jet, along with human tissue supplies from the American Red Cross and the shipment's escort, a member of the Greater New York Hospital Association. The jet landed in Philadelphia about 8:45 Wednesday morning, ET. Within hours, trucks were delivering the albumin to 54 hospitals and burn centers as far-flung as Wisconsin, Alabama, New York and the Carolinas.

FFF President and CEO Patrick Schmidt figured it was a job well done. "This was a great team effort," Schmidt said. "It's what we do. We're in the healthcare business; we're prepared to provide what's needed when and where it's needed, and all of our customers need albumin now for their member hospitals."

 

CEO, Patrick Schmidt oversees the final operations as the convoy heads to LAX. The shipment arrived in Philadelphia at 8:45 AM EST on Wednesday, September 12. Waiting trucks delivered the albumin to over 54 hospitals and burn centers as far-flung as New York, the Carolinas, Alabama and Wisconsin.

FFF serves major group purchasing organizations whose members are hospitals throughout the United States: Premier Inc., Novation, Broadlane, MedAssets and AmeriNet, all of whom have member hospitals treating victims of the attacks.

"We realized the dire
nature of the requests,
the gravity of the situation," Schmidt continued, "
and the team put the logistics together to make it work. We had to. Without albumin, the burn victims of these attacks would probably die."

 

September 11, 2001 - Within hours of the WTC attack, FFF Enterprises warehousemen begin loading over 25,000 doses of lifesaving albumin, needed for burn victims by NYC and DC area hospitals.

Albumin is a volume expander, meaning it expands the volume of blood, plasma and body fluids lost through tissue damage. Burn victims with significant skin loss are highly susceptible to potentially deadly dehydration. Albumin helps keep the victims hydrated, so healing can begin, but the albumin must be infused as soon as possible.

FFF's established emergency plan includes agreements with other healthcare providers to store extra albumin - in this case, at two Coram Healthcare facilities in New Jersey and New York - so additional medicine is just hours or even minutes away, if needed. Tuesday night's shipment will provide for victims' immediate needs and put additional doses within relatively easy reach.

"Healthcare providers cannot be stopped by a crisis - certainly our emergency responders were not," Schmidt said, "and neither should the American people be stopped in their pursuits by these terrorists. On Tuesday night, President Bush said 'Today, our nation saw evil.' Now, it's time to see healing."