People get sick and injured every day across the country and around the world. Some of these people will require a medical flight on a fixed-wing aircraft. These special planes are configured like flying hospitals or intensive care units “ICUs” in the sky. They transport ill and injured patients anywhere in the world. These aircraft are called air ambulances.
What’s an Air Ambulance?
An air ambulance is a medically configured jet or piston fixed-wing aircraft. These jets carry medical equipment on board. They carry items like ventilators, stretchers with bases, multi-channel IV pumps, and more. They generally have a medical crew that consists of a flight nurse, EMT, or doctor onboard. These trained professionals monitor and take care of the patient while in-flight.
What Kind of Aircraft Are Used as Air Ambulances?
Some Air Medical Transport companies use piston planes but most high-quality companies use jets. Jets like the Learjet 31, 35 and 50 are among some of the jets used. These jets are state-of-the-art, fast, safe, and efficient. Learjets can fly at altitudes of 45,000 feet and speeds of 500 mph.
The Best Air Ambulance Company
Air medical transport companies should be experienced. They should have the proper credentials and certificates for flying patients. They should employ very experienced, trained, skilled, medical professionals and own and operate their own fleet of aircraft.
Only the best air ambulance companies are CAMTS accredited. These companies are considered to be the best ate what they do. These companies also are ARG/US gold rated and licensed. These are very important things to look for when doing your research for an air ambulance. Other things to consider are how long the air ambulance company has been doing business and whether they are a broker or own and operate their own aircraft. Operating your own planes is important because brokers use other companies planes. Companies that operate their own planes are safer because they know the history of the planes they fly.
What Services Does the Air Ambulance Company Offer?
People looking to hire an air medical transport company need to ask the right questions. Ask what services are offered. Does the company handle the insurance aspects for you? Do they call your insurance company and act as your advocate? Does the medical flight team stay by the patient’s bedside – known as bedside-to-bedside service?
Is the company trustworthy and have integrity? How long have they been doing business and have they had any complaints? Are they in good standing with the Better Business Bureau? What about safety? This is particularly important to ask. Have they ever had any accidents?
International and Domestic Medical Flights
Can the company you’re talking to handle the job? Can they fly internationally? Do they have the right types of aircraft, like jets? How much experience do they have flying internationally?
Cost and Insurance
You need to know if the company is billing the flight correctly. Are they familiar with Medicare and other insurance? How do you know if they are quoting you a fair price? Be sure to ask how they determine the cost of the flight.
What Else to Consider When Choosing an Air Ambulance
Some other things to ask are:
Does the company have a medical director that overseas flights?
Are they licensed by the FAA?
Are they licensed in their home state?
Are they insured?
Is there a nurse and paramedic on each flight?
Are the planes they use pressurized?
Is the medical crew highly trained?
Do they offer bedside-bedside continuous care?
Also, ask about the pilots they use. How are they pilots trained? What type of annual continued education do they have?
Other services Air Ambulances provide.
Some air ambulance companies can provide organ procurement. Sometimes people need an organ transplant and need the organ flown immediately. There may only be a small window of time. Air Ambulance companies that use jets can fly an organ fast. Companies like this have special organ procurement vehicles, a fleet of fast jets and a 24-hour call center. Asking all of these questions and really looking closely at the company you choose can make a big difference in how your flight goes and you’re the overall experience.