Surprising Answers to the Question – What Is an Air Ambulance?

By: Angel MedFlight Contributor

Angel MedFlight Learjet 60 Air Ambulance

The interior of Angel MedFlight’s Learjet 60 air ambulance.

What comes to mind when you hear the words “air ambulance”? Perhaps emergency medical evacuation, air rescue and transport, or ICU in the sky. Those two words have a clear meaning when said individually, but put them together, and the meaning becomes a variety of different outcomes. We would like to set the record straight.

“Seven months ago, when I told friends I started working for an air ambulance company, they thought it was a company that rescued people from high elevations like mountain tops and large structures,” says Nathan Prince, Angel MedFlight’s Law Clerk. “Having a background in aviation, my initial thoughts were not so much search and rescue, but more of a medical transport service.”

Angel MedFlight’s Legal Assistant, Stephanie Hinckley, recalls her first introduction to the term. “When I first heard of an ‘air ambulance’, my initial thought was of a prop-based aircraft. I figured it provided medical transportation from hospital to hospital.”

Helicopters and planes and jets – what’s the difference? Well, aside from the obvious, all are considered air ambulances, but a few factors determine which are best suited for each situation.

Helicopters are mainly used in extreme emergencies for critical care patients. In short-range situations such as car accidents or mountain preserve rescue, helicopters are the go-to choice for fast, medically-configured air ambulances. Easy access to landing pads provide direct access to emergency rooms and trauma centers of large hospitals.

For short distances, such as state-wide or regional flight, single or multi-engine prop planes and jets are the standard choice for an air ambulance. These air ambulances are configured to treat any issues of medical necessity just as an ICU on the ground. Prop planes are subject to lower elevation, therefore experiencing a higher level of turbulence. Angel MedFlight jets can climb to a higher altitude (above 40,000 ft.), providing a faster, more stabilized cabin; increasing the comfort of the patient.

Angel MedFlight utilizes two medically-configured Learjet 60s and one Learjet 35 for both international and domestic flight. Patients visiting the far reaches of the world, or only within 200 miles of their destination needs, will experience care in a fast, smooth, and quiet flight. The ability to handle nearly any medical situation and get patients home faster and more comfortably are reasons patients choose to employ Angel MedFlight jets as a preferred method of air ambulance transportation.

At Angel MedFlight, we consider an air ambulance to be just that. An ambulance aircraft that can support a medical crew of Registered Nurses capable of treating and caring for any medical need. An aircraft supplied with all necessary drugs and medications tailored to each patient’s needs. An ambulance that can transfer patients to and from any medical facility in the world – fast. Angel MedFlight has the air ambulances that patients want and the experienced crew to make each trip as fast, friendly, and effective as possible.

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