Commission on Accreditation of Medical Transport Systems
The Commission on Accreditation of Medical Transport Systems (CAMTS) (pronounced cames), is an independent, non-profit agency based in Sandy Springs, South Carolina, which audits and accredits fixed-wing, rotary wing, and surface medical transport services worldwide to a set of industry-established criteria. CAMTS has accredited 182 medical transport programs worldwide as of February, 2017.
CAMTS first enacted its Accreditation Standards in 1991, which were developed by its member organizations as well as with extensive public comment and input. The Standards are the core element to the CAMTS program, which declares that the highest priorities for medical transport services companies are "patient care and safety of the transport environment". CAMTS accreditation, once granted, lasts for three years, at which time it can be renewed by being reaudited. Preparation for initial accreditation generally takes from four to six months, as the process examines all aspects of operations, from management to medical protocols to flight operations.
CAMTS' member organizations
CAMTS is an "organization of organizations" composed of twenty-two member organizations, each of which has representation on the Commission's board of directors. The member organizations are:
- Aerospace Medical Association
- Air Medical Operators Association
- Air Medical Physicians Association
- Air and Surface Transport Nurses Association
- American Academy of Pediatrics
- American Association of Critical Care Nurses
- American Association of Respiratory Care
- American College of Emergency Physicians
- American College of Surgeons
- [Association of Air Medical Services]
- Association of Critical Care Transport
- Emergency Nurses Association
- European HEMS and Air Ambulance Committee
- International Association of Flight & Critical Care Paramedics
- International Association of Medical Transport Communications Specialists
- National Air Transportation Association
- National Association of EMS Physicians
- National Association of Neonatal Nurses
- National Association of State EMS Officials
- National EMS Pilots Association
- United States Transportation Command
Requirement for accreditation
While in principle CAMTS accreditation is voluntary, a number of government jurisdictions require companies providing medical transportation services to have CAMTS accreditation in order to be licensed to operate. This is an increasing trend as state health services agencies address the issues surrounding the safety of emergency medical services flights. Some examples are the states of Colorado, New Jersey, New Mexico, Utah, Michigan and Washington. According to the rationale used to justify Washington's adopting the accreditation requirements, "Requiring accreditation of air ambulance services provides assurance that the service meets national public safety standards. The accreditation is done by professionals who are qualified to determine air ambulance safety. In addition, compliance with accreditation standards is done on a continual basis by the accrediting organization. Their accreditation standards are periodically revised to reflect the dynamic, changing environment of medical transport with considerable input from all disciplines of the medical profession."
Other states require either CAMTS accreditation or a demonstrated equivalent, such as Rhode Island and Texas, which has adopted CAMTS' Accreditation Standards (Sixth Edition, October 2004) as its own. In Texas and Maryland, an operator not wishing to become CAMTS accredited must submit to an equivalent survey by state auditors who are CAMTS-trained. An exception would be the Maryland State Police, who are not accredited. Virginia, Arizona, Missouri, and Oklahoma have also adopted CAMTS accreditation standards as their state licensing standards.
Notable accredited programs
- PHI Air Medical
- St. Mary's LifeFlight
- Air Evac Lifeteam
- Air Methods
- ARCH Air Medical Service
- Care Flight
- Flight for Life
- Lifestar Air Medical Services
- Memorial Hermann Life Flight
- STAT Medevac
- Shock Trauma Air Rescue Society (STARS) 
- AirMed International
- Northwest MedStar
- REACH Air Medical
- Penn State Hershey Life Lion
- Accredited program list from the CAMTS website Archived May 29, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
- REMSA press release, August 14, 2002 Archived September 28, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
- CAMTS background information, CAMTS.org Archived 2007-07-02 at the Wayback Machine.
- Washington Proposed Rule WSR 00-17-181 Archived 2006-09-29 at the Wayback Machine.
- Mediplane's CAMTS information page Archived 2007-08-18 at the Wayback Machine.
- Robert Davis, "Reconsidering air ambulance usage", USA Today, July 18, 2005, accessed July 13, 2007
- Colorado House Bill 07-1259 Archived 2013-07-30 at the Wayback Machine.
- State of New Jersey Assembly Act No. 3786 Archived 2012-02-07 at the Wayback Machine.
- New Mexico Register, Volume XVI, Number 24, December 30, 2005
- Utah Rule R426-2
- Washington State rule WAC 246-976-320[permanent dead link]
- "RULES AND REGULATIONS RELATING TO EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES" (PDF). STATE OF RHODE ISLAND AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH. April 2014. Retrieved 4 November 2017.
- Draft of proposed changes to Texas Department of State Health Services rule 157.12, January 25, 2006
- Texas DSHS committee minutes
- "Air Evac Lifeteam | Air Medical Ambulance Service". Air Evac Lifeteam. Retrieved 2017-11-04.