Training Together Proves to be Beneficial for Employees and Patients




Essential to the success of any organization, is the quality of its employees. Angel MedFlight actively seeks talented individuals who share the same work ethic and passion for exceeding standards that the company was founded on. Finding talent, however, is just the first step in building and maintaining an exceptional team. After initial new-hire orientation, individuals need ongoing, specialized training in two very technical fields: aviation and healthcare.

Angel MedFlight has designed and implemented a world-class training program providing instruction in every department including aviation, aviation maintenance, safety, operations, flight coordination, medical, quality management, legal, claims, human resources, IT and business development. Cross training employees allows employees to experience what it’s like to be in another’s role; for better understanding of how departments must work together for improved overall operations.

Matt Greenwell, RN, CFRN, NREMT-P, FP-C, Angel MedFlight’s Director of Clinical Operations teaches one of the training courses; Flight Physiology. He explains how pressure and altitude affect patients, flight crew and medical crew alike. Pressure affects people differently, an important consideration when transporting critical patients. A patient is going to react differently at sea level than at 40,000 feet.

“It’s very important that the patient’s history and condition area taken into consideration when the flight coordinators plan the flight,” says Greenwell, adding, “Altitude and air density, cabin pressure and the condition of the patient all play a role in coordinating a flight and determining the correct altitude and cabin pressure.” Greenwell teaches all the laws concerning pressure including Boyle’s Law, Charles’ Law, Henry’s Law, Graham’s Law and Fick’s Law. These are all complex theories that will need to be understood in depth. Greenwell stresses the importance of the medical crew and flight crew needing to communicate when it comes to adjusting cabin pressure. Because of their cross training, they’ll all have an understanding of the situation and be able to communicate effectively. This is one of many examples why a cross-training approach coupled with an in-depth curriculum are such integral pieces of an effective training and development program.

Greenwell also includes a training segment outlining the 4 types of hypoxia including hypoxic, hypemic, stagnant and histotoxic and the potential effects on patients and crew. He recalls a time when he had the training opportunity to spend time in an altitude pressure chamber; which simulates an aircraft reaching different altitudes and tests the effects it has on people. He explains that in his experience, it only took about 90 seconds to begin to feel the effects of hypoxia. He said he felt confused and experienced pain in his neck. Hypoxia can affect everyone differently. Personally experiencing a pressure chamber is an excellent way to understand first-hand what the effects can be. Greenwell hopes to incorporate altitude pressure chamber training to the curriculum in the near future.

Chief Pilot Kindle Tannery joins Greenwell to teach a segment that explains all of the 9 stressors that can affect not only the patient during the flight but the crew as well. The stressors are:

  • Hypoxia
  • Barometric Pressure
  • Thermal
  • G-Forces
  • Noise
  • Vibration
  • Third-Spacing
  • Decreased Humidity
  • Fatigue


Together, they explained the importance of the flight crew and medical crew to remain hydrated, eat healthy and the proper amount of rest in between flights so that they are able to perform their job functions to the absolute best of their ability.

It’s necessary for pilots and flight coordinators to learn and understand flight physiology; not just the medical crew. Although flight coordinators remain on the ground, they must be able to effectively communicate this information to patients, families and case managers that they work with to coordinate medical flights.

Angel MedFlight’s training and development is continually evolving in order to remain on the cutting edge of technology. Because air medical transport encompasses both the aviation and healthcare fields, ongoing training and continuing education requirements are important to remaining leaders in the industry.  The flight physiology course is just one part of the extensive training curriculum.

Angel MedFlight’s commitment to hiring, training and developing talent is essential to delivering operational excellence on every level.


Angel MedFlight’s January Logbook


Jan. 2014 Logbook

The first month of 2014 was a busy one at Angel MedFlight. Here’s a snapshot of January, with some interesting facts:


Angel MedFlight’s Logbook:


  • Top states we flew in and out of: CA and FL
  • Countries we flew to: Canada, Mexico, Guatemala, Panama, St. Maartin (Netherlands).
  • Longest Flight: MA to CA – 2,736 miles.
  • Main reason for medical flights:  Trauma


Rescuing people far from home:

Of all patients we transported In January, 21 became ill or injured while traveling. This included 11 domestic missions and 10 international missions.



2013 – Angel MedFlight Traveled the World to Help Patients, One Flight at a Time

Angel MedFlight can help anyone, anytime, anywhere  in the world.

Angel MedFlight can help anyone, anytime, anywhere in the world.


February 12, 2014 (Scottsdale, AZ)

Angel MedFlight’s 2013 was a busy year of advocating for our patients and flying around the world to transport those in need to the critical care and hospitals that could best help them. We’re honored to do the work we do and proud that we have the advanced capabilities to be able to help anyone, anytime, anywhere in the world.


Worldwide Capabilities


With our sophisticated fleet of jets, like the Learjet 60, we can provide a global reach to patients all around the world. One of the main reasons we own, operate and maintain our own fleet of reliable, medically configured jets is because of their unmatchable range and speed! In 2013 alone, we flew our amazing jets to the farthest reaches of the globe to transport patients, including countries like Canada, Mexico, Bahamas, Jamaica, Barbados, USVI, Aruba, St. Martin, Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, Honduras, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Argentina, Nicaragua, Ireland, Germany, Spain, England, France, The Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, England, Turks & Caicos, Nigeria, Lebanon, Turkey, China and South Korea.



Flying Safely For Our Patients


2013 was an Award-winning year for Angel MedFlight. ARG/US International awarded Angel MedFlight Worldwide Air Ambulance with its highest honor, the prestigious Platinum Rating. Only the safest, most trustworthy charter operators and aviation companies receive this elite award. We are committed to safety and are proud to have a perfect safety record with the ARG/US International’s highest honor as a seal of approval.



The Lengths We Go To


It’s all in the numbers and they were astonishing in 2013. Because of the trust and reputation Angel MedFlight has attained worldwide, we flew more than 867,000 total statute miles. That’s nearly double the amount of miles we flew in 2012! Plus, we flew to all 50 states in the U.S.  Our longest flight was from Texas to Nigeria, a total of 8,294 statute miles.



More Than Just a Flight


Yes, we pride ourselves on our extraordinary aircraft, skilled pilots and expert medical crew, but Angel MedFlight provides patients with more than just the flight. We are advocates for our patients. We go to bat for them with their insurance companies. We take care of all the details of their flight with our One Touch Promise® and Bedside-to-Beside® service, allowing the patient’s case manager and family to focus on the most important thing, their friend or loved one’s health.


We would like to extend a warm and sincere “thank you” to our patients, their friends and families, the case managers who used our services and all the other supporters of Angel MedFlight that helped make 2013 a successful year. We value you and your support.

Angel MedFlight’s Advanced Neonatal Incubator Helps Fly Babies in Need


Angel MedFlight’s Isolette Neonatal Incubator

February 5, 2014 (Scottsdale, AZ)

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, each year 500,000 babies are born premature. That’s 1 in 8 babies being born before 37 completed weeks of pregnancy. These neonates or “preemies” weigh less and their organs may not have developed fully. They require special neonatal care in a neonatal intensive care unit or NICU’s.

Sometimes these neonates require a medical flight to another medical facility or for continued care, like mother of four, Jessica Lucero, who was featured in Angel MedFlight Emmy® Award winning series “My Real Life Moment” found out. Lucero had traveled from Watertown, New York to Mesa, Arizona to give birth to quadruplets, under the care of Dr. John P. Elliott, but sadly lost one baby, Leila. She gave birth to premature quintuplets. Now faced with how to return the premature babies and herself to New York for continued care, she reached out to Angel MedFlight.

Angel MedFlight has a dedicated neonatal medical crew that is trained in the physiology of altitude and how it can affect preemies. They understand all the safety aspects of the flight environment, particularly fixed wing aircraft like our Learjet 60s. For example, medications, drug dosages, and their administration are vastly different for neonatal patients than for adult patients.

Along with our specially educated and highly trained neonatal medical crew, Angel MedFlight uses stat-of-the-art neonatal equipment like the Drager Isolette® TI500 incubator. The sophisticated Isolette® incubator has modern technology that incorporates a built in ventilator and baby warmer. It can stabilize both the core and peripheral body temperature of the baby. It can be taken nearly anywhere and still provide the warm, safe environment and quick access necessary for optimal neonate care.

Angel MedFlight has the capabilities to fly neonatal babies and families on our safe, fast, comfortable and modern Learjet 60s with special neonatal equipment aboard like the Isolette® incubator. Like in Lucero’s case, Angel MedFlight and our expert neonatal team was able to safely transport her and her four preemies on our Learjet 60 from Scottsdale, Arizona to Waterbury, New York. “Everything was really smooth. I didn’t have to worry about turbulence or the preemies stressing out. Once I was in the air, everything was smooth sailing,” said Lucero.

With our advanced neonatal equipment like the Isolette® incubator, our fast Learjet 60s and our highly trained neonatal medical crew; Angel MedFlight is dedicated to safely and compassionately transporting neonates and their families to the best care they can receive, anywhere in the world.

Platinum Rated!


ARGUS Platinum Rating

January 31, 2014 (Scottsdale, AZ)

We associate platinum credit cards with the best and platinum as a precious metal used in the highest quality jewelry. But have you seen the Platinum Seal on our website that says ARG/US? Chances are you may have noticed it and asked yourself, what is that?

In the charter operations world, ARG/US Platinum is the highest rating given by the Aviation Research Group U.S. Inc. (ARG/US). Angel MedFlight was awarded this prestigious rating in 2013. This is not an easy achievement to obtain. An aircraft operator must have and maintain an ARG/US Gold Rating, then a Gold-Plus Rating before being considered for the Platinum status. This means the operator must have and maintain the highest safety standards possible.

ARGUS International, Inc. is a specialized aviation services company with global expertise whose mission is to provide the aviation marketplace with the information needed to make informed decisions and manage risk. ARG/US rates charter operators and bases their safety record ratings on that of their peers.

ARG/US uses their Charter Evaluation and Qualification (CHEQ) program to gather information and rate charter operators on the following criteria:

  • Historical safety ratings.
  • Current aircraft and pilot background checks.
  • On-site safety audits.

The CHEQ system is the most comprehensive safety analysis program in the industry. Based on this criterion ARG/US awards three possible safety ratings. They are:

  • Gold Rating – Operator meets the current rating for Gold rating.
  • Gold-Plus Rating– Meets Gold-Plus requirements and has passed an ARG/US audit for a Gold rating.
  • Platinum Rating – Operator meets all Gold rating requirements and within the preceding 24 months has passed an ARG/US audit for the Platinum standards.

As of Jan 31, 2014 there are 111 ARG/US Platinum rated, 31 Gold-Plus rated and 325 Gold rated operators.

What this means to our patients who trust Angel MedFlight to transport them safely is that they can rest assured knowing that they have chosen the best, safest air ambulance and jet operator. Angel MedFlight is proud to be distinguished with this high honor.

How to Avoid Unsafe Medical Transports like that in Ireland


January 22 (Scottsdale, Ariz.)

Angel MedFlight learned of a sad story from Belfast, Ireland involving the medical flight of an Irish mother and her newborn son. Kate McGinn gave birth to her son Laochra on December 27. She and the baby were released from the hospital but little Loachra soon became ill and was rushed back to the hospital. It was determined that he needed emergency heart surgery that would need to be performed in London, England, requiring an air ambulance medical flight. 

According to an interview with the BBC News, McGinn arrived at the local airport to find a small blue plane awaiting her and her baby for the flight from Belfast to London. McGinn’s doctor helped mother and child aboard and wrapped them in multiple blankets. McGinn says the doctor said “it will be very cold.” In describing the flight, McGinn said there was “a hole in the plane the size of a ten pence piece.” She described it as cold and drafty and air coming in from the hole and the windows. While in flight McGinn says that plane rattled and shook. The doctor tried to cover the hole with pillows. McGinn says she could see sky and clouds through the hole and that she was terribly cold. She feared for her and her baby’s life. “We could hear what sounded like a flock of birds hitting the engine,” she said. “There was a terrible rattle from the left hand side, the plane started to shake. I could see the pilots behind the doctor starting to hit buttons, and then they said they had to make an emergency landing in Liverpool. I just kept looking at my baby and saying ‘This is unreal’.” 

“I said, ‘this plane is going down and we are going to die’.” 

This account of a medical flight is what can happen when you don’t know the right questions to ask or the standards in place for medical transportation by a qualified provider. When there’s a critically ill patient aboard and time is of the essence, you want a safe, well maintained aircraft and an experienced medical crew. Air ambulances exist to provide a higher level of care and safe transport. Angel MedFlight is a worldwide ARG/US Platinum rated Air Ambulance Company with the highest standards and a spotless safety record. Our number one concern is the safety of our patients. The conditions on-board that flight from Belfast, if accurate, are all too common when not using a trusted, proven air ambulance provider for your medical transportation.

Stories like Kate McGinn’s makes it even more important to know about the air ambulance company you’re dealing with. Angel MedFlight owns, operates and maintains state-of-the-art jets as air ambulances including Learjet 60s and Learjet 35s. An in-house maintenance team ensures these jets exceed federal safety requirements. They are updated for the utmost comfort and safety of the patients they carry. Because these jets contain the most advanced avionics, they can fly patients to their locations faster and at higher altitudes, to avoid weather conditions found at lower altitudes. Each plane is outfitted as an “ICU” (intensive care unit) in the sky with the latest medical and monitoring devices. Each flight is staffed with two trained medical personnel who can handle virtually any kind of medical condition of the patient.

It is important to know that you do have a choice when it comes to medical flights. What sets Angel MedFlight apart is that we are an owner operator and not an air ambulance broker.  Angel MedFlight also provides Bedside-to-Bedside® care by handling all the logistics for your ground and air transportation with both the sending and receiving facilities. We focus on the details so you can focus on your patient or loved one. We also fly worldwide. So, even if the patient is in Ireland, we can provide medical transportation services.

You can reach Angel MedFlight at: (877) 264-3570 and at


The History Of The Air Ambulance


de Havilland DH9

How would you have liked to be transported by hot air balloon when you were critically injured? Well, according to history that was how the first recorded air ambulance flight was made. In 1870 hot air balloons were used to evacuate wounded soldiers in the Siege of Paris. World War I was when the first actual airplane was used to evacuate a French soldier from the battlefield to a hospital. French records indicate that once airplanes were used to evacuate soldiers the mortality rate of the injured improved dramatically.

The British used a de Havilland DH9 in 1917 to transport wounded in Turkey. The flight took only 45 minutes by air, compared to three days by land. As the idea became more popular, the French and British were the first to organize regular air ambulance flights during the Colonial Wars of 1920. They outfitted an Airco DH 9A as an air ambulance.

During World War II and the Korean War wounded soldiers were air lifted by helicopter, as depicted in the famous TV show MASH. During the Vietnam War, the U.S. trained special medical corpsmen to attend to wounded soldiers in specially outfitted medical helicopters. This idea is what later led to the creation of civilian paramedics and civilian air ambulances. The use of civilian air ambulances were first used in remote, mountainous regions of Scandinavia and by bush pilots in the rugged outback of Australia, where travel by land was to rough and travel by boat took too long.

Today, air ambulances come in a number of varieties depending on the services they need to perform. Angel MedFlight owns, operates and maintains state-of-the-art jets as air ambulances including Learjet 60s and Learjet 35s. Angel MedFlight maintains these jets with an in-house maintenance team to exceed the safety requirements of the FAA. They are outfitted for the upmost comfort and safety of the patients. Because these jets are updated with the most advanced avionics, they can fly patients to their locations faster and at higher altitudes, to avoid weather conditions found at lower altitudes. In addition, the planes are outfitted as an ICU in the sky with the latest medical and monitoring devices. Angel MedFlight can provide domestic and international transports and can offer virtually any kind of medical condition of the patient. In addition, each flight is accompanied by two medical personnel. Air ambulances have come a long way since the use of hot air balloons and Angel MedFlight is the leader in the air ambulance service.