Two Private Air Ambulances in Quebec Announce Alliance

The two private air ambulances in Quebec have announced that they will be joining forces to expand their services. This allied effort will ensure that residents of the region will be transported to the hospital faster than before regardless of where they’re located.

Alliance to Benefit Both Companies

Skyservice and Airmedic made the announcement during the first week of October. In their announcement, they stated that their alliance would be beneficial for both companies. Each has their unique geographical needs that the other cannot meet. But with their partnership, they will be able to meet those challenges.

The two air ambulances each carry out approximately 600 patient transfers per year. However, the main focus for Skyservice is on long-range transfers that take place internationally. Airmedic’s specialty lies in short-range to medium-range patient transfers, mainly fulfilling local air ambulance needs.

Enhanced Support by Two Air Ambulances

There are a few similarities and some differences in how the two companies operate. Both of them have pilots and nurses as well as paramedics on board their flights. They also have doctors who are on-call and can fly as necessary.

In addition to crew members, Skyservice can accommodate two patients and a family member each in one of their jets. They use portable medical equipment that enables them to carry out intensive care procedures on board their flights.

Airmedic carries out patient transfers in remote areas within the region. They have advanced equipment including night vision equipment for their pilots to safely navigate and land in remote locations.

So they both have some similarities but also offer unique benefits that make the alliance highly productive. The services provided by Skyservice and Airmedic are not covered by Medicare. There may be variations in the coverage provided for these services by private insurers. Airmedic, however, offers memberships for residents.

CSI Aviation Receives Certification to Provide Medical Flight Service in Texas

CSI Aviation has made an announcement of a new certification they have received that will enable them to provide medical flight service in Texas. The Texas Department of State Health Services has certified the company to carry out critical care and specialty care flights in the state. CSI Aviation will be able to help save more lives of critically ill or injured patients in the region.

Medical Flight Service to be Part of Aviation Offerings CSI Aviation Provides

According to the company’s Vice President of Sales Marc Ramthun, CSI Aviation already operates in Texas and has had a long history of providing different types of aviation services in the state. Ramthun also stated that the company is excited to add medical care flight services to this long list of aviation services.

CSI Aviation also played an important role in aiding Texas after it was hit by Hurricane Harvey. The company’s subsidiary, Seeker Aircraft, used their fixed-wing light observation aircraft, a SB7L-360 to provide support to the state. The aircraft had a critical role to play in the post-hurricane search and rescue efforts as well as surveillance efforts.

CSI Aviation’s Fleet All Ready for Critical Care Flights

The company is all ready to begin its medical flight service in the Texas region. They have a dedicated fleet comprising of a King Air 200 and a King Air 300 to carry out the service. They have already equipped the aircrafts to transport critically ill or injured people.

CSI Aviation has used Spectrum Aeromed systems to equip the aircrafts they’re planning to use for the service. All flights will have a crew of certified medical care personnel on board. The crew will be responsible for administering essential medical care to patients who are being transported to a medical facility.

724 Free Medical Flights Provided in One Month by Miracle Flights

Miracle Flights, the nation’s leading medical flight charity, has reported that they have carried out 724 free flights during the month of August alone. The charity provides free medical flights to critically ill patients who are in need of specialized medical care at a distant location. The August numbers are a significant increase from the previous year, when the charity carried out 599 flights in August 2016.

30+ Years of Free Medical Transport by Air

Miracle Flights, which is based in Las Vegas, has been providing free medical transport by air since 1985. Their services are mainly focused on patients who have rare, life-threatening conditions. They enable these patients to gain access to life-saving treatments, valuable second opinions, etc. that are not available nearby because their diagnosis is so complicated.

The charity provides patients and families with free plane tickets as often as they need. Over the last 32 years, they have flown in excess of 62 million miles and provided 111,397 medical flights for free. According to the charity’s CEO Mark E. Brown, Miracle Flights was started with the belief that distance shouldn’t be the reason why people cannot gain access to a cure.

Lives Saved Due to Free Medical Flights

With the help of the free flights provided by Miracle Flights, thousands of lives have been saved. An example of one of their patients is Riley, a 16-year-old who lives in Idaho. She suffers from a rare bone marrow condition known as Dyskeratosis Congenita. In 2015, Miracle Flights helped transport Riley to Boston Children’s Hospital, which is 3,000 miles away from her home.

She became the sixth patient to undergo an experimental transplant. Now Riley is a high school junior and is able to get involved in sports such as football, wrestling, and track. She was able to overcome incredible odds due to the charity’s service.

Lincs and Notts Air Ambulance Service to Save More Lives with On-Site Blood Transfusions

The Lincs and Notts air ambulance service will start carrying blood supplies on board. This will enable them to carry out on-site blood transfusions and save more lives. This change is expected to significantly enhance the quality of pre-hospital care provided by the crew. Patients will now have an even better chance of recovery even in the most critical injuries.

One of Six Air Ambulance Helicopters to Offer On-Site Blood Transfusions

With the Lincs and Notts air ambulance helicopter carrying blood supplies on board there are now six air ambulance helicopters in the U.K. that can provide on-site blood transfusions. The implementation of the project is being overseen by Dr. David Cookson, who stated that the recent advances in devices have made it possible for air ambulance service crews to administer blood transfusions outside of a hospital environment.

In cases where the patient is bleeding heavily and has very low blood pressure, they have difficulty pumping oxygen to vital organs. So administering blood transfusion is a crucial step to providing treatment to these patients. This improves their chances of survival as they’re being transported to the hospital.

Specialist Training to Air Ambulance Service Crew

The Lincs and Notts crew has been provided a specialist training to carry blood supplies on board and administer it to patients in need. The blood supply is from Lincoln County Hospital, delivered on a daily basis by the Lincolnshire Emergency Blood Bikers.

The helicopter will be transporting the blood supply in thermostatically-controlled boxes              that were specially designed for carrying blood. The helicopter also has a machine to warm the blood so it can be administered at the correct temperature. The crew will be administering the blood to patients whose blood pressure is dangerously low and are suspected to be bleeding significantly.

Florida-Based Medical Flight Team Provides Assistance to Puerto Rico

REVA, the air ambulance company based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida has provided valuable service to storm-ravaged Puerto Rico. The medical flight team has been flying in relief supplies to San Juan and then transporting patients out of the city after it was hit by Hurricane Maria. Now that the REVA hangar in San Juan has been overhauled, the relief flights have been discontinued since Friday September 29.

Efforts Began with Three REVA Employees

The relief efforts began on Saturday September 23 when three employees of the company were flown from Fort Lauderdale to San Juan. Another two employees based in San Juan assisted them. They met a REVA Learjet that was carrying supplies such as canned foods, water, baby formula, diapers, soap, and sports drinks. These supplies were donated by REVA employees and the B’nai Torah congregation, based in Boca Raton.

The medical flight team set up a belt loader like the ones used in commercial flights. They then unloaded all the supplies onto the belt, storing them inside the only storage room remaining in the REVA hangar. This was the first relief supply mission out of a total of four carried out by REVA.

More Supplies Delivered by Medical Flight Team

On Monday September 25, the REVA team flew in to San Juan again with donations from REVA employees and some more supplies by the B’nai Torah congregation. These supplies included flashlights, solar fans, bug spray, and batteries along with basic medical supplies.

The next day, they loaded a dual-prop Cessna 402 with supplies to aid St. Thomas and Tortola in Virgin Islands. After their last trip on Friday, the team will carry out major rebuilding of the airport. The flight crew has also been transporting patients in need of medical treatment out of Puerto Rico and on the U.S. mainland.

New Reach Air Medical Service Helicopter to Cater to Montana Residents

REACH Air Medical Service has announced that a new type of helicopter will be serving the Bozeman, Montana region. Their Bozeman base will be provided with a new Airbus H125 helicopter to improve the quality of service in the region. They chose the model specifically to fulfil the service requirements in Montana.

New aircraft Offers Increased Safety

The new Airbus H125 is specifically suitable for service in Montana because it has high-reliability rates and is capable to fly in higher-altitude regions. The model also has safety features that make it ideal for service in the region. It is also customized to be used in air medical service, having the capacity to transport a three-person flight team along with the patient.

REACH has further enhanced the capability of the aircraft by equipping it with night-vision goggles and autopilot systems. The helicopter also has snow pads to increase landing safety during winters and advanced terrain awareness warning systems to improve navigation. All of these features will optimize the level of safety and quality of service provided by REACH.

These features are all crucial for providing better air transportation service to patients in rural regions. REACH Air Medical President, Sean Russell has stated that the new H125 will help them in better serving patients in need.

Aircraft to be Manned by Highly Skilled Air Medical Service Staff

In addition to the aircraft being heavily equipped with high-level features, it will also be operated by a team of highly-skilled paramedics and pilots. REACH takes care to staff both of their Montana bases with highly-qualified teams. Both the Bozeman base and the Helena base have a 24/7 critical care transport team. This team comprises of a pilot, a flight paramedic, and a flight nurse. These highly-skilled clinicians are capable of providing ICU-level medical care to patients in need.

Access Credit Union Commits to Raising $350,000 for STARS Air Ambulance Service

After announcing their decision to raise funds for STARS Air Ambulance, Access Credit Union has since increased their commitment amount to $350,000, $100,000 higher than the announced commitment. The credit union will be working towards raising the amount within the next five years in order to support the air ambulance service.

Events Underway to Raise Funds

Access Credit Union has already organized a few events to begin their fundraising efforts. On September 14, they organized a charity golf tournament that raised $36,424. ACU also added a direct $25,000 boost to these funds.

Myrna Wiebe, COO of Access, also made a contribution of $61,424 from the recently-held event known as Rescue on the Island. As a result of all these efforts, the organization ended up writing a cheque for $95,534 for STARS Air Ambulance Service. This contribution is on top of the $250,000 five-year commitment made by the credit union.

STARS Air Ambulance Service was Chosen for its Valuable Contribution

According to Larry Davey, CEO of Access Credit Union, the organization chose to raise funds for STARS because of the valuable contribution the service has made for the communities they serve and for the Manitoba region. As a credit union, Davey stated that they’re compelled to invest in causes that result in better lives for their members.

STARS is a non-profit air ambulance charity that provides life-saving transportation service to critically ill or injured individuals. The charity requires $10 million for its annual operations, which is entirely funded by the public. In return, the service saves hundreds of lives each year. The service was able to fly 619 missions in Manitoba during 2016 alone.

Access Credit Union has been known for its contributions to charitable organizations. They were the first organization in Manitoba to have their logo displayed on a Manitoba STARS aircraft.

Yorkshire Air Ambulance Permitted to Provide Medical Flight Service at Night

The Civil Aviation Authority has granted permission to Yorkshire Air Ambulance to carry out their medical flight service operations at night. The approval was given after the air ambulance charity underwent an inspection to determine their capability to carry out night flights. They will now be able to extend their hours of operation.

Two Helicopters for Night Flights

Yorkshire Air Ambulance will be using their two helicopters – both Airbus H145 – to respond to incidents both during daytime and at night. During the weekdays, these helicopters will be in operation between 6AM and 12midnight. And on the weekends, they will operate till 10PM.

Crew members will be equipped with night-vision goggles, which they can use for the evening flights. They underwent several months of thorough training on Night Vision Imaging System flying.  According to the Director of Aviation, Captain Andy Lister, Yorkshire Air Ambulance was only granted permission for night flights after this lengthy training.

Night-Time Medical Flight Service to Begin Immediately

Yorkshire Air Ambulance will be able to start their night time operations immediately. Their crew will now be able to respond to incidents even after dark. This can be crucial especially during the winter, when the sun sets much earlier.

The NVIS goggles will help the pilots and navigational crew in identifying hazards or obstructions during flight and landing. Each of their medical flight service helicopters will also have two paramedics onboard. They too will be trained to wear and use the NVIS goggles. According to Captain Lister, all crew members of the charity will likely have NVIS operations approval by the end of October.

Night vision technology has already been utilized by other air ambulance charities in England such as the East Anglican Air Ambulance and the Great North Air Ambulance.

Air Ambulances in the UK Celebrate National Air Ambulance Week

The Association of Air Ambulances (AAA) celebrated National Air Ambulance Week between 11th September and 17th September. In addition to this, the AAA also celebrated the 30th anniversary of medical helicopter services in the U.K. The first ever air ambulance helicopter began its operations in April 1987 in Cornwall.

Massive Improvements in Quality of Service During 30 Years

Since the first air ambulance helicopter started flying in the U.K. 30 years ago, several developments have been made to improve the quality of service provided. These life-saving services have made investments to expand their operations, upgrade to bigger aircrafts, extend their hours of operations, and enhance their medical capabilities.

Some of these improvements include carrying blood for emergency blood transfusions and using night vision technology to fly at night. During 2016, these air ambulances operated 39 helicopters and raised £162 million. They were able to fly an average of 20,500 flights every year.

Events Organized to Celebrate NAAW by Air Ambulances

Local charities, along with the air ambulance charities, organized several events and initiatives to celebrate National Air Ambulance Week 2017. The goal is to raise awareness about the valuable service provided by these emergency helicopter services and to generate funds that will help them in their operations.

They executed a social media campaign known as “Pie in the Sky”. For this initiative, members of the public had to post a video on social media where they’re taking a pie in the face. In the video, they also have to pledge a donation and then nominate three other people to take the same initiative.

As part of the NAAW celebrations, four air ambulance charities based in London and the eastern parts of England came together to raise awareness. Their efforts helped in raising awareness about the pre-hospital care they provide to patients in need.

Air Ambulance Company in Hawaii to Acquire Only Competition: Possible Spike in Air Ambulance Services Fees

Air Medical Group Holdings Inc., which controls one of two air ambulance services in Hawaii, is planning to buy out its only competition. This could likely result in a monopoly of medical transportation in the islands. The firm currently owns Hawaii Life Flight and is intending to buy American Medical Response, which owns AMR Air Hawaii.

Reduction in Competition Likely to Increase Prices

The two companies are signing a $2.4 billion deal in which AMR Air Hawaii and Hawaii Life Flight will be controlled by Air Medical Group Holdings Inc. This means there’s no more competition for the company and this will likely increase the cost of air ambulance services in Hawaii.

According to state Rep. Angus McKelvey, this new acquisition can lead to serious ramifications in which healthcare consumers will be put at a disadvantage. Air ambulance is a lifeline service for residents in the islands and those who need to be transported by planes and helicopters are often in critical situations. If there’s any interruption in that lifeline it could be highly devastating for families.

How Expensive Could Air Ambulance Services Get

Hawaii Life Flight was on the receiving end of a lawsuit filed last year by Kaiser Foundation Health Plan. The lawsuit claimed that the air ambulance company was charging exorbitant fees for their services and cost significantly higher than services rendered by AMR Air Hawaii.

There’s a difference of several thousand dollars between the fees charged by the two services for similar flights, with AMR Air Hawaii’s fees being much lower. In December 2013, an emergency flight from Hilo to Oahu by Hawaii Life Flight cost a total of $70,580. Their base rate for the flight was $16,411 with a $219 charge for each mile. This means there was a mileage cost of $54,139.

On the other hand, AMR Air Hawaii had been charging $14,000 for base rate and $25 for each mile. So the same flight would have cost around $20,000.