Providing Access When Seconds Count™
Air Evac Lifeteam is the leading air medical service in the United States, conducting its operations through more than 150 mutually supporting air medical bases across 18 states. The company has established itself as the preeminent provider of air ambulance services to communities in need of advanced emergency healthcare and rapid medical transport. Air Evac Lifeteam is part of the Global Medical Response family of solutions. Global Medical Response, Inc., is the industry-leading air, ground, specialty and residential fire services and managed medical transportation organization.
Air Evac Lifeteam is committed to providing increased access to emergency trauma care to rural Americans. In a life- or limb-threatening medical emergency, a successful patient recovery often depends on the amount of time it takes to deliver that patient to the trauma center or advanced health care medical center. Approximately 90 percent of Air Evac’s patient transports originate from a rural area as defined by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. That is why more than 90 percent of our aircraft are based in rural areas. Air Evac believes that those who choose a rural way of life should have the same benefits when it comes to emergency care as those who choose to live in a metropolitan community.
Today, Air Evac is part of Global Medical Response (GMR), an industry-leading medical services company with both air and ground resources. Air Evac operates more than 150 mutually supporting bases in 18 states.
Air Evac Lifeteam was established in 1985 by a group of citizens in West Plains, Missouri. The goal was to provide air medical transportation and ensure access to emergency health care for their remote community in the Missouri Ozark region. Although air ambulances were primarily based in metropolitan areas at the time, the company founders believed that the people who needed air medical transport the most were those living in rural areas, often far away from a hospital.
Today, Air Evac is part of Global Medical Response (GMR), an industry-leading medical transportation company with both air and ground resources. Air Evac operates more than 150 helicopter aim ambulance bases across 18 states. Flight crews, consisting of a pilot, flight nurse and flight paramedic, are on duty seven days a week to respond to the scene of an emergency, or provide transportation between medical facilities.
The company is supported by an expanding community of more than 2.7 million members who pay an annual fee and are entitled to be transported free-of-charge for life- or limb-threatening medical emergencies. Membership support enables the company to provide its services in rural areas that otherwise might not be capable of supporting an air ambulance service.
Critical Facts: Access to Definitive Health Care for Rural Americans
46.7 million Americans, living in rural areas, are more than an hour away from a Level 1 or 2 trauma center even with the number of air and ground ambulance services available today.1
Numerous changes in the nation’s delivery of health care have made the trauma and tertiary care centers a vital hub for outlying hospitals. The result is an increasing need to transport a greater number of patients longer distances for complex, time-dependent care, such as primary cardiac intervention, strokes and complex surgery. 3
In the past 10 years, there has been an 8 percent decline in the number of emergency departments in community hospitals. This is a trend that is expected to continue. 4
Rural trauma victims are twice as likely to die from an accident or medical condition versus an urban victim due to failure to arrive at a hospital within the Golden Hour.2
Increasing numbers of hospitals, even in rural areas, are on diversion status due to lack of bed availability and access to specialty physicians. This diversion, often requiring transport to distant facilities, is now becoming commonplace throughout the country.3
A decreasing number of specialist physicians - general, orthopedic and neurosurgeons - has reduced the availability of emergency specialty care at community hospitals making it necessary to refer patients to trauma and tertiary centers either directly from accident scenes or in secondary transfers from the emergency department.3
Many rural hospitals continue to close each year reducing resources to those in need. Some rural hospitals have undergone changes in mission and structure during the last 20 years. In an effort to help maintain a sufficient number of hospitals, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services have developed the Critical Access Hospital program, which pays the full cost for Medicare beneficiaries. This has come in exchange for structural changes in the hospital which include reducing beds to 25 or less and shortening average length of stay to less than 96 hours. The goal is to keep hospitals open which is a tremendous benefit to rural communities. However, it also leads to a concurrent need to transfer patients with complex health conditions to distant trauma and tertiary care centers, requiring a rapid and even more sophisticated medical transport system.3
- Source: Journal of the American Medical Association
- Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
- Source: Association of Air Medical Services
- Source: American Hospital Association