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Broomfield company sends life-saving technology around the world

Vita Inclinata has sent high-tech rescue systems to the U.S. Army, Ukraine, Japan and the United Arab Emirates.
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Vita Inclinata created high-tech systems that stabilize litters during helicopter rescues.

Caleb Carr was a young search and rescue trainee in Oregon when his mentor went into cardiac arrest.

“We ended up calling a medevac to come rescue him — the helicopter arrived and tried to lower the basket down,” Carr said. “The basket was swinging out of control, and they had to call off the mission, and then following the cardiac arrest event, we just called time of death.”

Carr enrolled in medical school at the University of Colorado Denver, and told his professor, Dr. Randall Tagg, about his mentor’s death. The professor then challenged Carr to come up with a solution for litters swinging out of control during rescue missions.

Carr and his friend Derek Sikora founded the Broomfield-based company Vita Inclinata in 2015, in an effort to stabilize litters in high winds and treacherous terrain.

“Derek’s the brainchild behind the system — he initially came up with the concept when he was sitting on a plane and he saw jet turbines,” Carr explained. “He’s like, ‘why don’t we use those’ — so essentially what we’re doing is we’re using fans that are attaching to the bottom of a load to provide counter thrust in the direction of the swing or the spin.”

The technology not only stabilizes a litter, but it operates autonomously so rescue crews can focus on the mission and saving people’s lives quickly, Carr said.

Vita Inclinata grew rapidly and its technology is now being shipped to Japan and most recently, the United Arab Emirates. The U.S. Army also uses the system.

“The Army came back and said, ‘we can save four lives in the same time it takes one today,’” Carr said. “That’s invaluable.”

Six weeks into Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Carr and Scott Slack, Vita’s director of marketing, traveled to Ukraine to donate their time and $500,000 of their technology to help the country.

“Most of our staff did not want to cross the Polish border — Scott was the one bold soul that was willing to go in with me,” Carr said.

Because their rescue system is easy to use, Ukrainian crews — who had never done any type of helicopter hoisting — were able to quickly learn how to save people, Carr said. Ordinarily, medevac training takes weeks of learning how to stabilize a dropped litter in high winds and dangerous terrain. Often, the only way to stabilize a helicopter for a rescue is by tethering it to the ground, he explained.

“You can talk to anybody in aviation — the last thing they like is having something attached to the ground that’s basically holding that aircraft, because it adds a lot of complexity — it adds a lot more communications between the pilot and the ground crew in order to understand what’s going on,” Carr said. 

Vita Inclinata now has two branches — Vita Industrial, which develops safety systems for industrial equipment, and Vita Aerospace, which creates safety systems for aircraft. The company has offices in Washington, D.C., California and Dubai.

The company’s ultimate goal is to make its technology ‘mission critical,’ so all rescue aircraft crews view the system as an essential component for medevac missions, Carr said.

“Over the next few years, you’ll see us continue to work that — both within congressional avenues, defense avenues — but also just altruistic avenues,” he explained.