By Angel MedFlight Contributor
Base of Operations: The installation from which a force initiates operations. At Angel MedFlight, our company headquarters are in Scottsdale, Arizona but our force of highly skilled pilots and medical crews initiate operations — wherever our jets land.
Always on the forefront of innovation, Angel MedFlight’s thinking behind keeping our base of operations mobile is to better serve our patients and keeping their costs down.
Some patients may not have insurance and need to pay an initial retainer up front. Angel MedFlight helps to lower the cost to the patient by not having to reposition our crews back to Arizona after every single flight and then leaving for the next one from Arizona. Angel MedFlight Chief Strategy Officer Cassandra Graper says, “We schedule our flights based on where the aircraft is located. So they go from one location to the next, whichever one is logistically closer to where that patient needs to be picked up.
Having a “wheels down” base of operations also keeps operating costs down. The only time we bring aircraft back to Scottsdale is for scheduled maintenance. By not having to fly back to Scottsdale, we are able to serve more patients on any given day.
Our crews also benefit as they stay with the aircraft for their entire shift, working seven days on and seven days off. They are full-time employees and they stay with the aircraft for the entire shift. This is instead of having them here in Scottsdale, and being on call. Graper points out, “What if they were working at a hospital or something and we said we have a flight, can you come in?” By keeping crews with their planes, our air ambulance company makes sure the crews are rested. This goes for the pilots too, as we can make sure we follow FAA guidelines for rest periods.
Maintaining a base of operations wherever our planes land maintains consistency within our flight crews. Graper says, “They’re with each other the entire time so it’s not like you’re going out and flying with someone different every single time. They know each other and they know the process.”
Crews remaining on the road also means traveling marketing teams. Say for some reason our crews have some down time or they don’t have a flight on a particular day, they are able to get out and visit hospitals and drop off marketing materials. “The facilities, nurses and case managers can actually have the chance to talk to the crew instead of just when they’re whisking in and getting the patient and whisking out,” Graper says.
All Angel MedFlight crews carry marketing packets on the aircraft. And Graper says, “It’s nice to have the actual medical professionals on the aircraft being the ones that are going in (to hospitals) and saying, ‘Hey, this is where we are from.'”
Angel MedFlight worldwide air ambulance service is where we are from. But our base of operations could be anywhere from Albuquerque to Zambia and places in between. Our medically configured jets are based…wherever we land.