Ambulance crew and passengers
The medical crew of an air ambulance varies depending on country, area, service provider and by type of air ambulance, but in most schemes may consist of one or more members of ambulance crew, such as an Emergency Medical Technician or Paramedic, sometimes a flight nurse, or in some cases, a physician.
Air ambulance pilots are required to have a great deal of experience in piloting their aircraft because the conditions of air ambulance flights are often more challenging than regular non-emergency flight services.
Depending on the equipment, crew composition, and condition of the patient, there is sometimes room for one or more passengers. Space in most Air Ambulances is very limited, so friends and family often must follow the air ambulance by other means.
- 1914–1918 - Early air ambulances were first tested by various military organizations.
- 1928 - The first air ambulance service was established in the Australian outback. This organisation became the Royal Flying Doctor Service.
- 1934 - The first civil air ambulance service in Africa was established in Morocco by Marie Marvingt.
- 1936 - A military air ambulance service evacuated wounded from the Spanish Civil War for treatment in Nazi Germany.
- 1946 - The first civilian air ambulance in North America was established by the Saskatchewan government in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada - this service is still in operation in 2007.
- 1947 - Schaefer Air Service, the first air ambulance service in the United States, was founded by J. Walter Schaefer of Schaefer Ambulance Service in Los Angeles, California. Schaefer Air Service was also the first FAA-certified air ambulance service in the U.S
- 1977 - Flight For Life Colorado began in 1972 with a single Alouette III helicopter, based at St. Anthony Central Hospital in Denver, Colorado. It was the first civilian, hospital-based medical helicopter program in the U.S.
- 1977 - Ontario CANADA: Flight Paramedic program began in 1977 with a single rotor-wing aircraft based in Toronto. Today, with 33 aircraft stationed at 26 bases across the province, Ornge operates the largest and most sophisticated program of aero-medical transport in North America. Over 17,000 admissions are dispatched annually making Ornge North America's largest operator in the field of transport medicine.
- 1978 - Lee County MEDSTAR: Lee County, Florida established a public service air medical ambulance initially known as Air-4 using a Bell 47, moving to a Jet Ranger, a BO-105 and currently using both an EC-145 and a BO-105; spans multi-county area.
In the United Kingdom the service operates in two distinct manners. In Scotland the national parliament agreed to the state funding of the service however in England and Wales the service is funded on a charitable basis via a number of local charities for each region covered. A website listing UK air ambulance charities.
In the United States publicly owned air ambulance service is provided by the United States Coast Guard and other agencies in certain areas, usually at no direct cost to the individual; public air ambulance transport is usually by helicopter and involves shorter distances than privately owned air ambulance jets.
Notable air ambulance services
- The Royal Flying Doctor Service, the first and longest running air ambulance service, founded in 1928, servicing remote outback communities in Australia's interior.
- Ornge (Ontario Air Ambulance) - Ornge operates the largest program of aero-medical transport in North America,with 33 aircraft stationed at 26 bases across the province of Ontario.
- STARS - An Alberta non-profit air ambulance service serving more populated areas. Its funding is provided by donations from the public and corporations.
- DRF (Deutsche Rettungsflugwacht e.V.) - Organisation for air rescue with a fleet of more than 50 helicopters.
- ADAC - Germany's largest automobile club with a fleet of 38 air rescue helicopters.
- Bundespolizei - The German federal police.
- The German Federal Ministry of the Interior - 14 helicopters.
- Flight For Life
- Life Flight
- Stat Medevac - PA, OH, MD, and NY - Largest privately run rotary-wing air ambulance with a fleet of over 20 helicopters.
- Air Methods- Largest air ambulance operator, with a fleet of more than 216 aircraft operating in 35 states
- ARCH Air Medical Service- MO, IL, and KS - Operates 11 rotor-wing aircraft and 2 King Air fixed-wing aircraft.
- Emergency medical service
- Air Ambulances in the United Kingdom
- International SOS, Provider of air ambulance evacuation & repatriation services
- Safety of emergency medical services flights
- Commission on Accreditation of Medical Transport Systems
- Association of Air Medical Services
- Air ambulances in Germany
- UK air ambulance information - operational facts and a UK air ambulance gallery
- U.S. State Department information on U.S. based air ambulance and medevac companies
- "Lifeguard" flight trackerde:Luftrettung
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