Aerocare Air Ambulance Blog


How To Choose A Fixed-Wing Air Ambulance Company

October 13, 2016

By Doug Swan

SCOTTSDALE, AZ (October 13, 2016) – People facing the need to hire a fixed-wing air ambulance service to fly an ill patient or loved one may be faced with a lot of choices. When they look online and search for air ambulance companies’ there are a lot out there to choose from. But how does one pick the right air ambulance service for a medical flight?

In this article we’ll cover the basics of what to look for when doing your research for fixed-wing, air medical flights. First, let’s discuss the difference though between rotary air ambulances and fixed-wing air ambulances. Rotary air ambulances (helicopters) are used for short emergency flights. For example, if a person is involved in an automobile accident and needs a life flight from the scene of the accident to the nearest hospital. Fixed-wing air ambulances are used for longer flights, usually from one medical facility to another. This service could be for patients with a number of different medical conditions. Fixed-wing air ambulances can fly neonatal babies, geriatric patients, patients with injuries, wounds, and different illnesses, that cannot be medically transported by a ground ambulance.

Now that we know the difference, you’ll know how to narrow your search for an air ambulance service. When doing an internet search, you may want to start by searching for “fixed-wing air ambulance.” This will narrow it down to just air ambulance companies’ that fly fixed-wing aircraft. The next thing you want to look for is whether or not the companies you’re looking at are brokers or providers. This is really important to make this distinction. The reason being, is that an air ambulance broker finds you an air ambulance service and marks up the cost to you with their commission for finding the service for you. An air ambulance provider is the actual air ambulance service that transports the patient. So, you want to ask – are you a broker or provider? It will cost you less to deal directly with the air ambulance provider. Not only will cost be less, but with a broker you really don’t know what kind of service you’re getting.

What Questions Should I ask an Air Ambulance Provider?

Once you’ve determined you’ve found a provider, look carefully at their website to see what their credentials are. Look for:

  • Accreditations
  • Licenses
  • Years in business
  • Type of aircraft
  • Medical Personnel
  • Safety Record

These are the key things you should know about the air ambulance company you’re researching. There are many accreditations out there. The best accreditation and air ambulance company can have, is the CAMTS accreditation. This is the gold standard for air ambulance providers. CAMTS holds air ambulance companies to a much higher standard than others. If you found a CAMTS accredited company, you’re on the right track. Next, see how long they have been doing business under their current name. Find out the type of aircraft they use. Do they own, operate and maintain the aircraft themselves? Does the company employ their own critical care medical team, consisting of experienced critical care flight nurses and flight medics? Do they have an on-staff medical director that oversees each medical flight? And finally, do they have a perfect safety record?

Once these basic questions have been answered, find out what services they provide their customers. Do they allow family to fly with the patient for free or do they charge extra? Do they arrange all the details of the air medical transport for you? Do they offer bedside-to-bedside service? Do they have a long contract, complicated contract to sign? Now you can ask for a quote. Keep in mind that prices will vary for air ambulance service and only some insurance companies will pay for such a service. You may need to pay out-of-pocket. The thing to remember is price isn’t always the most important factor when choosing the right air ambulance provider. The above list of details is what you need to focus on. You want to pick the safest, most experienced and ethical air ambulance provider you can find to fly your loved one. Following this list will help you make a wise decision. If you would like a free air ambulance flight quote from the world’s leading fixed-wing air ambulance service, AeroCare, click here or call 800-823-1911.