13 Facts About Air ambulance


Air ambulance medical services is a comprehensive term covering the use of air transportation, aeroplane or helicopter, to move patients to and from healthcare facilities and accident scenes.

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An air ambulance is a specially outfitted helicopter or fixed-wing aircraft that transports injured or sick people in a medical emergency or over distances or terrain impractical for a conventional ground ambulance.

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When this happens, air ambulance aircraft take the call sign MEDEVAC and receive priority handling in the air and on the ground.

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In 1936, air ambulance services were established as part of the Highlands and Islands Medical Service to serve more remote areas of Highland Scotland.

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The Schaefer Air Service operated as part of Schaefer Ambulance Service.

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Schaefer Air Service was the first FAA-certified air ambulance service in the United States.

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In Ontario, Canada, the air ambulance program began in 1977, and featured a paramedic-based system of care, with the presence of physicians or nurses being relatively unusual.

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In southern New South Wales, Australia, the helicopter that responds as an air ambulance is actually operated by the local hydroelectric utility, with the New South Wales Ambulance Service providing paramedics, as required.

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Sometimes the air ambulance may be run as a dual concern with another governmental body - for example, the Wiltshire Air Ambulance was run as a joint Ambulance Service and police unit until 2014.

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However, the cost of providing air ambulance services is considerable and many, including government-run operations, charge for service.

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Examples of this are common in the European Union, where in London the Virgin Corporation previously donated to the Helicopter Emergency Medical Service, and in Germany and the Netherlands a large number of the 'Christoph' air ambulance operations are actually funded by ADAC, Germany's largest automobile club and DRF Luftrettung.

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Some air ambulance companies, realizing it is virtually impossible to have the correct medicalized aircraft for every mission, instead charter aircraft based on the mission-specific requirements.

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In most cases, an air ambulance staffer is considerably more skilled than a typical paramedic, so medical control permits them to exercise more medical decision-making latitude.

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