Article first published 30 August 2012
The European Aero-Medical Institute (EURAMI), which provides a voluntary audit and accreditation service to air ambulance providers, announced today that Philipp Schneider of Quick Air Jet Charter, Germany, was named as its interim president on 17 August, replacing Dr Michael Weinlich of Med Con Team. The non-profit institute’s temporary board of directors, appointed by Dr Weinlich after the previous board resigned en masse on 28 June (https://www.airmedandrescue.com/latest/news/eurami-board-and-now-president-resign), convened by conference call after receiving legal advice that this is acceptable within its statutes; the board members do not have to be physically present in order for decisions to be binding.
Schneider, who was unanimously elected, said he is committed to working with the board to continue the work of the organisation until a new president and board members can be elected at the annual EURAMI general members meeting, which will be held the International Travel Insurance Conference (ITIC) in Barcelona on 1 November. He indicated that while pleased to work with the transition team, he will stand for re-election as a board member only and will not seek election to the post of president for the upcoming term.
The temporary board members (Chris Connor of Life Flight International Inc, Canada; Jon Warwick of Air Medical Ltd, UK; Mark Jones of Air Ambulance Worldwide, US; and Milan Floribus of American Care Air Ambulance, US) joined Schneider and EURAMI secretary Andrew Wither in thanking outgoing president, Dr Michael Weinlich, for his service to the organisation and for his identification of ways in which to facilitate its operations in the future.
In the statement on the meeting issued today [30 August], the board expressed its desire ‘that EURAMI auditors be separate from the board’, and that it will seek to reinstate previous board members who are interested in continuing to contribute ‘to the process and the organisation’ as auditors.
Additionally, the board approved the engagement of legal resources to look into modifying the EURAMI statutes to ‘properly reflect the shared operational-responsibility of the president and the board as is required of international non-profit organisations’. Any proposed changes will be subject to a vote by members at the general meeting in November.
Schneider confirmed to Waypoint that while the board members are able to meet by conference call, the general members must be convened in the same location. He also explained that the official version of the statutes, which is in German, contains more detail on the powers of the board and the president than the English version that has been circulated [CORRECTION 31 August 2012: Philipp Schneider has confirmed that the current English version of the statutes circulated to EURAMI members and Waypoint in July is in fact the same as the current German version]; as part of the above changes, however, it is intended that the officially registered version of any amended statutes will be written in English.
In a letter sent to EURAMI members along with the report on the board meeting, Schneider described his background in the air ambulance industry, which began with his post as a flight paramedic in 2003, and explained that he had been chosen as interim president as he is a German citizen: “This fact would simplify the judicial process under these special circumstances.”
He also announced that the new EURAMI website will be live by late September, and that the site will make the body’s standards publicly available for the first time. It will, furthermore, include the names of current auditors, who at this time are Dr Michael Braida of International SOS, Dr Gert Muurling of Global Med International, Dr Laurent Taymans of l’Aeromédicale, and Dr Michael Weinlich, all of whom recently resigned from the board of EURAMI.