Forklifts fulfill role in Haiti crisis

News Story
- 21 Jan 2010 ( #445 ) - Port-au-Prince, Haiti
2 min read
U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Joshua L. DeMotts
U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Joshua L. DeMotts
Immediately following Haiti's 7.0-magnitude earthquake, no forklifts were available at Toussaint L'Ouverture International Airport in capital city Port-au-Prince.

People on stepladders tried to unload emergency supplies, food and equipment from aircraft arriving from foreign countries, but, without forklifts, the process was clumsy.

Also in the initial period, a shortage of fuel threatened to halt engine movements including those of forklifts and aircraft.

The geologic rupture occurred on the evening of 12 January with the epicentre about 16 miles (25 km) west of Port-au-Prince. Haiti, the poorest country in the western hemisphere, shares Hispaniola Island with the Dominican Republic.

During 14 and 15 January, only one forklift was available, making it difficult to unload planes quickly. Subsequently, the arrival of three more forklifts made it more feasible to transfer the pallets from the aircraft to convoys of trucks and helicopters for delivery of shipments.

Forklifts prove valuable in airport operations, according to US Air Force Colonel Buck Elton, head of the Florida-based US special operations command south. Elton served as a point person in the 13 January deployment of an initial US force to reopen the airport, provide security, assist with medical evacuation and rescue efforts and establish command and control.

The airport was in chaos without functioning electronics or a control center. Elton established communications through Tyndall Air Force Base in Fort Walton Beach, Florida. Over four days, Elton's team controlled about 600 takeoffs and landings on an air strip that normally has three flights daily.

"The military aircraft are configured for faster operations, and we can use forklifts to offload them, so it goes much faster," Elton says in a press briefing with a US deputy national security advisor and a US senior regional foreign-disaster-assistance advisor.

Members of the 439th airlift wing at Westover Air Reserve Base in Chicopee, Massachusetts loaded several forklift trucks on a C-5 Galaxy aircraft, brought them to Dobbins Air Reserve Base in Marietta, Georgia and then directly to Homestead Air Reserve Base near Miami, Florida for forwarding on another aircraft to Haiti.

Other military cargo aircraft transported forklifts and tents from New Jersey.

A US-funded search-and-rescue team, Virginia task force 2, flew to Haiti in two C-17 Globemaster strategic aircraft. Forklifts in Port-au-Prince removed 19 pallets of gear and four heavy-duty pickup trucks for use during the 80-person group's 10-day mission.

Meanwhile, the death toll climbs. Four days after the earthquake, operators on forklift trucks transported corpses that had been scattered on the streets. An observer saw a forklift placing corpses into a dump truck that was parked near the presidential palace. Amid issues involving epidemics, diseases and civil disorder, at least 100,000 persons have died and, as of 18 January, more than 70,000 were buried in mass graves.
Forklift to the rescue
Forklift to the rescue 24 Jan 2019 - Huntington Beach, CA, United States - 1 min read
DHL eyes Turkey as hub
DHL eyes Turkey as hub 20 Dec 2018 - Istanbul, Turkey - 1 min read
Jungheinrich supports humanitarian aid
Jungheinrich supports humanitarian aid 2 Oct 2014 - Cotswold, United Kingdom - 1 min read
Do you have materials handling news? Submit your news here

Showcased in the Virtual Expo

“I really enjoy your newsletter and share the articles with all my training team for industry currency. I also print and display specific articles on forklift safety and accidents on our notice board for all the learners who attend our training courses to read...”

Gavin Trim - CEO, High Risk Work Licence Assessor, Mechanical Handling Equipment Specialist - Nationwide Training

Thanks Gavin for sharing your experience with Forkliftaction

Words of support …

After advertising with Forkliftaction.com, we got many enquiries regarding interest to be our distributor. Mostly from Europe and USA but including a few in ASEAN. We feel that the advertisement was useful and good for market expansion.

Lawrence Xu, Assistant Sales Manager - Resonac Asia Pacific Pte Ltd.

Are you recruiting? Find your ideal candidate among a diverse range of materials handling professionals:

Forkliftaction's JOB MARKET

“I really enjoy your newsletter and share the articles with all my training team for industry currency. I also print and display specific articles on forklift safety and accidents on our notice board for all the learners who attend our training courses to read...”

Gavin Trim - CEO, High Risk Work Licence Assessor, Mechanical Handling Equipment Specialist - Nationwide Training

Thanks Gavin for sharing your experience with Forkliftaction

PREMIUM business

VETTER Industrie GmbH
The world's most comprehensive range of forks and the most intelligent sensor fork for more safety and efficiency.

Are you recruiting? Find your ideal candidate among a diverse range of materials handling professionals:

Forkliftaction's JOB MARKET

Inside The News
This week we explore the various energy sources available for forklifts and other material handling equipment that were showcased at LogiMAT in Stuttgart... Continue reading

PREMIUM business

Combilift Ltd
Manufactures world class 4-way Handling Solutions

Are you recruiting? Find your ideal candidate among a diverse range of materials handling professionals:

Forkliftaction's JOB MARKET

“I really enjoy your newsletter and share the articles with all my training team for industry currency. I also print and display specific articles on forklift safety and accidents on our notice board for all the learners who attend our training courses to read...”

Gavin Trim - CEO, High Risk Work Licence Assessor, Mechanical Handling Equipment Specialist - Nationwide Training

Thanks Gavin for sharing your experience with Forkliftaction