Air Evac Lifeteam's network of more than 125 bases across 15 states is centrally controlled and directed from the company's Operations Centers in O'Fallon and West Plains, Mo. More than 100 Communications Specialists watch and communicate via satellite with flight crews, using real-time technology and SkyTrac® satellite tracking systems, resulting in superior oversight, operational control and management of a geographically dispersed service area.
Communications Specialists have training in emergency medical dispatching (EMD) which enables them to give pre-arrival instructions, including immediate first-aid measure, how to perform CPR or control bleeding.
Air Evac Lifeteam employs eight Operational Controllers, with experience as pilots and/or aviation dispatchers, who serve as virtual co-pilots and provide timely, accurate information to aid pilots in making decisions regarding weather, aircraft and regulatory issues.
Operation Control Center services include:
- Providing accurate, up to the minute weather information compiled from numerous sources including DTN, ADDS, and high definition NEXRAD Radar Software Systems.
- Evaluation of "Operational Windows", including real-time risk assessment and flight management assistance.
- An available reference library of federal aviation regulations, publications, sectional aeronautical charts, aircraft flight manuals, MEL, Operations Manual, and Company Policies and Procedures. When a pilot has a question regarding any regulation, policy or procedure affecting a flight, the Operational Controller can access and provide that information on a real-time basis.
The goal of the Operations Control Center is to provide pilots with the information they need when they need it; when they are on a flight and the weather suddenly starts deteriorating or they have been asked to alter their route.
Air Evac Lifeteam also employs a staff of registered nurses with previous flight, critical care and management experience within its Operations Center to serve as MedLink, a clinical resource available to medical flight crews 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Flight crews can speak directly with the MedLink RNs through the Air Evac Lifeteam Operations Center.
From protocol clarification, policy and procedure reference or equipment problem solving, the MedLink RN provides immediate information to the crews. These RNs have the ability to readily contact the company's medical directors, transferring physicians or the receiving facilities while the crew is in-flight to discuss current situations and immediately pass information from the physicians to the crews.
In addition to crew resource utilization, MedLink offers assistance to transferring hospitals in locating a receiving hospital for patients in need of a higher level of care.
Through a significant investment in its highly-skilled personnel and a capital investment of over $5 million in collaboration with technology leaders such as Avaya and Cisco, Air Evac Lifeteam's Operations Center leads the air-medical industry with a centralized approach that facilitates tight operational control and rapid response, ultimately resulting in safe, reliable aviation operations and timely, high-quality patient care.