Urgent situations arise in life when traditional ground ambulance or helicopter transportation may not be the best choice for patients. In these scenarios, air ambulances can provide a safe and fast means of patient transportation and, as such, are growing in demand. With an increase in air ambulance companies in recent years, it can be difficult to determine which companies are ideal for one’s needs. This short guide will help you through the decision-making process.

What is an Air Ambulance?

An air ambulance, also referred to as medevac, is an emergency medical service that transports patients via plane while providing necessary treatment they may need during the flight. Today, a growing trend within the industry is to use fixed wing private jetsas they are believed to provide a more calming and spacious environment for people going through a traumatic experience.

Jets, such as certain types of Learjets, are often chosen by top air ambulance companies because they are able to travel further distances without having to refuel. These planes are fully equipped with the latest medical equipment and medical professionals to provide emergency health care during transit until a patient is able to reach a suitable medical facility.

When to Contact an Air Ambulance

If you are unsure whether or not an air ambulance is right for you, consider several scenarios when a fixed wing air ambulance is likely to provide superior and more efficient service over other ground-based or rotor emergency vehicles. A fixed wing (airplane) air ambulance is able to travel longer distances in a shorter amount of time when compared rotor (helicopter) or ground based ambulances. Often times, the specialized care a patient needs may be located in a different state, across the country or even in a different country than the patient resides where a fixed wing air ambulance is the most efficient means of transportation. In some situations, the best care may even be overseas in which case only a fixed wing air ambulance would be capable of transporting the patient.

Questions to Ask Air Ambulance Companies

While more air ambulance services are available today than ever before, many fail to reach high levels of superiority in service. It is important to consider a number of aspects prior to making a decision on the right air ambulance company for your wants and needs. It is most important to select a qualified company. This requires that the plane features large doors for fast and safe loading and unloading. Also, the aircraft should be inspected regularly to meet or exceed FAA standards.

Know How to Spot and Avoid Brokers

When researching various air ambulance companies, you will likely come across a mix of companies that own and operate their own fleet of air ambulances as well as brokers who simply play “middle-man” between the patient and an actual air ambulance company. It is always best to deal directly with the actual air ambulance company as opposed to going through a broker. Want to learn more about air ambulance brokers? Check out our blog post outlining Six Tips on How to Spot an Air Ambulance Broker.

Understanding the Medical Equipment On Board

The plane should be equipped with similar medical equipment to that of an ICU to ensure the team is prepared for any situation that may arise in transit. You’ll also want to be certain that the aircraft are used and outfitted for medevac services only. Aircraft dedicated for medical transport purposes should not be used for commercial or cargo services. And, be sure the company offers a wide variety of medical services to meet any need that may arise.

Ensure Your Flight is Properly Staffed

Seek out an air ambulance company that employs two pilots for each flight rather than one to minimize risk during travel. You also want to ensure the pilots have specific training in critical care situations. The medical team on board should all be trained in flight physiology in addition to their medical degrees. To successfully treat a patient mid-flight, the staff must be trained with highly specialized critical care skills.

Make Sure You Understand the Costs

As air ambulance prices become more competitive and more insurance companies offer levels of coverage for these transportation services, it is likely you or someone you know may need to utilize an air ambulance at some point in your life. You’ll want to make sure that you read the contract carefully to avoid the possibly of any hidden costs that may surprise you after the flight. Air ambulance contracts should be straightforward, easy to understand and provide the full cost of the flight without additional or hidden fees. Be sure you evaluate all of your options and don’t be hesitant to call and ask the questions we outlined above when deciding between air ambulance providers.

At AirCARE1, we strive to lead the industry in air ambulance transportation. If you are currently researching different air ambulance options and would like someone from our team to help you with your decisions process, please do not hesitate to contact us for free, no obligation advice by calling us at 877-760-7760 or clicking here send us an email.