When was the first medEvac transport completed?

In 1926, the United States Army Air Corps used a converted DeHaviland aircraft to transport patients from Nicaragua to France Army Base in Panama, one hundred and fifty miles away. The first civilian air medical transport was completed in 1928 when a DeHaviland Fox Moth aircraft in the service of Australia’s Royal Flying Doctor Service took off on its first mission. The Royal Flying Doctor Service holds the distinction of being the first civilian air medical transport program.

Association of Air Medical Services (AAMS)

About AAMS

The Association of Air Medical Services (AAMS), established in 1980, is an international association which serves providers of air and surface medical transport systems. The association, a voluntary non-profit organization, encourages and supports its members in maintaining a standard of performance reflecting high quality patient care and safe and efficient operations.

Built on the idea that representation from a variety of medical transport services and businesses can be brought together to share information, collectively resolve problems, AAMS provides leadership in the medical transport community.

AAMS Mission

The core purpose of AAMS is to advance safety and quality in air medical and critical care transport.

AAMS Vision

Every patient in-need has access to safe, quality air medical and critical care ground transport.

AAMS Core Value Statements

Commitment

Evidenced in behavior that:

  • Places patient care before self-interest
  • Celebrates common dedication to teamwork, compassion for patients, and a passion for safety and quality care

Integrity
Evidenced in behavior that:

  • Demonstrates commitment to high professional standards
  • Promotes ethical behavior among all individuals involved in the work of the association

Respect
Evidenced in behavior that:

  • Honors the exchange of ideas
  • Embraces diverse viewpoints

Responsibility
Evidenced in behavior that:

  • Exemplifies transparent decision-making
  • Values honest communication and productive dialogue

What are the requirements for an air ambulance service license in Florida?

The paper work requirements are listed on the application for AIR ambulance licensure, “Air Ambulance Service Provider Licensure Application”, DOH Form 1575.  Click on the application and the application checklist to review most requirements.  Other requirements will be found in Section 401, Florida Statutes, & Chapter 64J-1, Florida Administrative Code. The following is a partial list of the major requirement:  Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (COPCN) from the county commission in the county you wish to operate your prehospital service, a medical director (licensed Florida physician) with a Department of Justice-Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) registration (prehospital only), aircraft vehicle liability insurance, trauma transport protocols and an approved radio communication system.  Approval of a radio communication system is completed by Department of Management Services-Information Technology Program.  Contact DMS for more information on EMS radio communication systems.

Reference Section 401.251, Florida Statutes and Section 64J-1.005, Florida Administrative Code.

Who needs a Basic Life Support (BLS) or Advanced Life Support (ALS) ambulance service license in Florida?

Every person, firm, corporation, association or governmental entity owning or acting as an agent for the owner of any business or service which furnishes, orperates, conducts, maintains, advertises, engages in, proposes to engage in or professes to engage in the business or service of providing prehospital or interfacility advanced life support services or basic life support transportation service must be licensed as a basic or advanced life support ambulance service, before offering such service to the public.
Reference Section 401.25, Florida Statutes & Section 64J-1.002, & 64J-1.003, Florida Administrative Code.

What are the requirements for an ambulance driver in Florida?

An ambulance driver must meet the following requirements:

  • Is at least 18 years of age;
  • certifies under oath that he or she is not addicted to alcohol or any controlled substance, and is free from any physical or mental defect or disease that might impair their ability to drive an ambulance;
  • Upon initial designation as a driver, has not within the past 3 years, been convicted of reckless driving or driving under the influence of alcohol or controlled substance and has not had a driver’s license suspended under the point system provided for in Chapter 322, Florida Statutes;
  • successfully completed a 16 hour course of instruction on driving an authorized emergency vehicle, which includes, at a minimum, classroom and behind the wheel training.  Section 64J-1.013, Florida Administrative Code for details on the 16 hour course content;
  • possess a valid American Red Cross or National Safety Council first aid course or its equivalent; and
  • possess a valid American Red Cross or American Heart Association cardiopulmonary resuscitation card.

Reference Section 401.281, Florida Statutes and Chapter 64J-1.013, Florida Administrative Code.

What types of aircraft are typically used in medEvac transport?

There is no standard aircraft utilized in medEvac operations. Airplanes (fixed-wing aircraft) vary in size from single-engine turboprops such as the Pilatius PC-12 to twin-engine aircraft like the Cessna Citation, Beech B-200, and Lear 35.  Most are either turboprop or jet aircraft which lends to faster, more versatile performance. In helicopter operations, again, no one make or model is the standard. Helicopters are chosen for a myriad of reasons such as payload capability, range, economy of operation, and geographic location.  The most common helicopters found in medEvac use are the Bell 206/407, and Eurocopter AS-350 for single-engine aircraft. For multi-engine the medium sized Bell 222/230, Eurocopter BO-105, BK-117, and Agusta A-109 are widely used. The largest multi-engine helicopters in service with medEvac services across the nation are the Sikorsky S-76, Bell 412, and the Eurocopter AS-365. All aircraft used in medEvac operations have proven themselves with thousands of safe transports.

What is the required staffing for BLS and ALS vehicles and air ambulances in Florida?

BLS vehicles are required to have at a minimum an emergency medical technician (EMT) attending the patient and a driver meeting the requirements in Section 401.281, Florida Statutes.
ALS vehicles are required to have at a minimum a paramedic attending the patient and an EMT.

Aircraft-Prehospital air ambulances are required to have a minimum of one paramedic.

Interfacility air ambulance staffing is based on the patient’s condition as determined by the medical director.

Reference Section 401.25, Florida Statutes, Section 401.251, Florida Statutes, & Sections 64E-2.003; 64J-1.004; & 64J-1.005, Florida Administrative Code.

Trauma Transport Protocols (TTP)

Trauma Transport Protocols (TTP) describe the procedures used by the emergency medical services prehospital provider for dispatch of vehicles, assessment of the extent and severity of injuries of trauma patients and determination of the destination (facility) to which trauma alert patients are transported. TTP’s are a legal document that should outline, as accurately as possible, the actual procedures followed by the emergency medical service provider.

Air Ambulance and Medical Flight Transport Services: Everything you need to know!