Air Evac Lifeteam

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For the Arizona Air Evac Air Ambulance Service, see Air Evac.

Air Evac EMS, Inc., operating as Air Evac Lifeteam (sometimes known as simply Air Evac), is the largest company within AMGH (Air Medical Group Holdings). Air Evac is still the largest independently owned and operated HEMS (Helicopter Emergency Medical Service), or air ambulance provider.[1] Air Evac currently operates helicopters at 115 bases, covering most of the central and southern states; Service Area. While primarily a HEMS provider, they do operate 2 fixed-wing aircraft in Missouri and Kentucky. Originally based in West Plains, Missouri, the headquarters, dispatch (CenComm), and a few other departments were moved to a new facility in O'Fallon, Missouri in 2013.

History[edit]

Air Evac Lifeteam was founded in 1985 to serve the rural Missouri Ozark area. Although air ambulances were primarily based in metropolitan areas at the time, the company founders believed that the people who needed air medical transport the most were those living in rural areas, often far away from a hospital.[2] Air Evac now focuses on providing services to the medically underserved areas of rural America, often in those rural areas which other air ambulances may not adequately service or may not look at servicing. Serving those areas where advanced or critical care access may be limited or nonexistent continues to play a large role in the areas that it serves. As the company has grown and evolved since 1985, it has remained true to its original mission and a patient first focus.

Air Evac Lifeteam is now a subsidiary of AMGH (Air Medical Group Holdings),[3] along with EagleMed, Med-Trans, and REACH.[4] Although a subsidiary of AMGH, Air Evac is still considered an independent provider. Air Evac is also the largest membership-supported air ambulance service in the country.

Air Evac Lifeteam was accredited in 2008 by the Commission on Accreditation of Medical Transport Systems, and is the largest medical transport program under one name to achieve this accreditation.[5]

Membership Program[edit]

Financially, part of the company's funding comes from a membership program it operates.[6] Although membership is not required for service, it does prevent any out of pocket expenses if you are transported by Air Evac or another provider in the AirMedCare Network[7]

Service area[edit]

As of January 2014, Air Evac has 115 bases operating in 15 states: Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas and West Virginia, mainly in the Midwest and Southeast.

Operations[edit]

Clinical Care[edit]

Air Evac provides emergency medical/critical care to all patients in the field and interfacility setting. Air Evac utilizes a Paramedic/Nurses configuration. Although each come from different medical backgrounds, the combination works well because each can bring a separate set of skills and experience to the workplace. The pre-hospital background of the paramedic complements the critical care experience of the nurse. Each are equally trained to provide the best care possible and operates under the same set of protocols. Crews provide advanced skills such as: Rapid Sequence Intubation, Balloon Pump management and transport, ventilator management, radiological and 12-lead EKG interpretation, fibrinolytics, surgical and needle cricothyrotomies, pleural decompression, arterial/invasive monitoring.

A major advantage to the use of critical care air medical transport is the ability to provide advanced care prior to and during transport, at a level of sophistication previously available only in a regional referral center's emergency and critical care units.[8]

Staff[edit]

Medical[edit]

Air Evac employs over 400 flight nurses and 400 flight paramedics who serve on its medical flight crews, with one nurse and one paramedic serving on each mission.[9] The medical crews have a minimum of 3 years clinical experience, with the average being 12 and 13 years respectively. All medical crews have certifications in ACLS, PALS, ITLS, Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), Neonatal Resuscitation Program, and Critical Care Transport. Nurses are also required to have at least one of the following: Certified Emergency Nurse (CEN), Certified Flight Registered Nurse (CFRN), or Critical Care Registered Nurse (CCRN). Flight Paramedics are required to have one of the following: Critical Care Emergency Medical Transport Program (CCEMTP), Certified Flight Paramedic (FP-C), or Certified Critical Care Paramedic (CCP-C).

Medical Direction[edit]

Medical direction is provided by 15 medical directors located in each of the states served by the company. There is also a Chief Medical Director, a pediatric, and an OB specialist. These medical directors work together to develop and continually update Air Evac's medical protocols and standing orders to ensure that flight crews are using the most up to date practices. They also ensure that medical crews are in compliance with the medical regulations in each state and review QA/QI information. Medical directors are also very involved with the hiring process and training of new employees. New Hires meet with their medical director upon hire and at the end of their orientation training. Medical directors are also actively involved in the biannual training of flight crews. All of Air Evac Lifeteam medical directors are board certified.[10]

Pilots[edit]

Air Evac's instrument-rated pilots are skilled aviators who become proficient air medical pilots by training under its proprietary and Federal Aviation Administration-approved program. Each certified pilot meets FAA standards and has flown, on average, more than 5,700 hours[11]

Only pilots who meet or exceed their respective state's requirements are considered by Air Evac. Before a pilot can fly, the candidates must demonstrate instrument proficiency in a dedicated flight training simulator. Pilots must also achieve standards established in the proprietary training program. The 18-day course delivers operational and procedural instruction, as well as aircraft and mission-specific training (flying at night and landing on unimproved rural terrain, such as pastures and fields and roadways) in the Bell 206 LongRanger and Bell 407 helicopters. Base assignment requires rigorous local flight orientation training to become an authority on local terrain, hospitals and landmarks. Recurrent training includes a Part 135/NVG check-ride, on an annual basis.

Aircraft[edit]

Air Evac owns and operates around 140 Bell 206 L1+ Long Ranger helicopters and about a dozen Bell 407 helicopters which are equipped with: Allison Rolls-Royce C30 engine, Garmin 396 GPS with XM Weather overlay, Garmin 430W GPS VHF, Becker Mode S Transponder, SkyTrac® satellite tracking, SatPhones, TDFM-7000 3 Band radios, Intellistart®, ANVIS-9 Night Vision Goggles, and Air Evac's proprietary litter system. The company has flown the Bell 206 LongRanger since its founding in 1985 because of its reliability, efficiency, agility and excellent safety record.[12] While these aircraft are widely used and regarded as safe aircraft, in comparison to other airframes used, they are cramped for space which can sometimes make patient care difficult.

News[edit]

Health care fraud[edit]

Justice Department investigators seized records from the headquarters ... as part of an investigation, apparently into possible health care fraud.[13] The company was eventually cleared of any wrongdoing.[14]

References[edit]

External links[edit]