If you’re looking for an air ambulance, know that it’s not a helicopter or airplane. Air ambulances are used for short-distance medical transportation of patients who need immediate care and cannot wait for ground transportation to get them to their destination. While some air ambulances are actual helicopters, many are actually airplanes with special equipment that makes it easier to transport patients with limited mobility or who have fragile conditions.
An air ambulance company will usually have multiple aircrafts available at different locations so that they can pick up patients quickly from wherever they may be located. The pilots and flight crew of these aircraft may also be paramedics or nurses who specialize in emergency medical care while in flight, also called a medevac, but the service itself should not be confused with these individuals—the company is what gets you there safely!
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The Right Experience and Accreditation
When selecting an air ambulance service for your loved one, it’s important to consider the certifications and experience of the in-flight medical team. You also want to make sure that the pilots and flight crew have all relevant licenses, certifications, and experience needed for safe operation.
It’s also critical that your provider has certified ground personnel who are well trained in handling emergencies on the ground. Also, look into whether they have aircraft mechanics with proper certifications, maintenance staff with proper certifications, management with proper certification, and licensing.
A Long-Term Plan For Crew Training and Well-Being
You will want to hire an air ambulance company that is committed to the well-being of its employees. This means you should look for a company that:
- Has a plan for continuous employee training on the latest medical procedures and protocols.
- Provides your crew with ongoing support for their mental health and emotional well-being.
- Protects its employees from potential dangers in the air (e.g., disorientation due to high altitudes).
Employee safety is a big concern when it comes to hiring an air ambulance company—both during flights and while on shifts. You want to make sure the crew will be able to do their jobs safely without hurting themselves or others around them due either directly or indirectly to a lack of proper training/support mechanisms.
The Right Equipment
When hiring an air ambulance, you should ask the following questions about the equipment present on the aircraft that you will be boarding:
- Do they have ventilators? Ventilators are used to help patients breathe. If a patient is unable to breathe on their own, a ventilator can be used to assist in air exchange and stimulate breathing.
- Do they have defibrillators? Defibrillators are devices that are used in emergency situations where the heart displays abnormal rhythm or fibrillation (a type of arrhythmia). The device will shock your heart into a normal rhythm.
- Do they carry IV pumps and suction machines? These machines can help with different issues such as dehydration, electrolyte imbalances, infections, and other health problems that may occur during transport.
Great Customer Service, With a Local Presence
Having a local presence is important for you to feel comfortable with the services. You want to be able to talk to someone who understands your needs and can answer any questions that you might have at short notice.
The company must have an experienced team of clinicians on hand 24/7, 365 days a year. They should also be able to provide you with an immediate response by phone or email if ever necessary.
A Good Track Record, Above All Else!
It’s important to find an air ambulance service with a good track record. The best way to do this is to check the websites of any air ambulance companies you’re considering hiring, such as Yelp and Angie’s List. You can also check review sites like TripAdvisor, where users post reviews about their experiences with various travel services. These kinds of sites are great for finding out what other travelers think about the services they’ve used and how those experiences went.
One thing you should look for when searching for an air ambulance company is where it operates and its level of experience in doing so. Chances are, if a company operates primarily within one area (say, New York City), then it probably doesn’t have much experience sending paramedics via helicopter or plane outside that area—and vice versa!
There are many factors to consider when choosing an air ambulance. Some of those include accreditation, experience, crew training and well-being, equipment, customer service, and local presence.
One important thing to keep in mind is that many medical means of transport are covered by insurance companies as part of their benefits package for employees. These companies may require certain standards to be met by the air transport provider that you choose.
A good way to start your search is to look up the accreditation status of each company on its website or through a third party such as The Joint Commission or CARF International (Children’s Assessment & Rehabilitation Facilities).