What comes to mind when you hear the words, “air ambulance”? Do you think of a horrible automobile accident with a helicopter hovering overhead? Helicopter medical transport teams around the world are a vital part of our emergency critical care team. You may have heard of them as LIFE Flight, STAR Flight, or another name.
In fact, United Medevac Solutions’ own COO, Ronny Wilson, started his medical career as a field and flight paramedic at Austin-based STAR Flight. He served as the organization’s SpecOps district commander for 14 years, running training and emergency medical services operations. Additionally, he handled helicopter, ground and aquatic-based rescue, disaster response, and incident command and control of life-threatening events.
But, have you ever stopped to think that there is another type of air ambulance? There is! Fixed wing air ambulance jet services – which is what our sister company, Aero Jet Medical, provides. Both types of air ambulances are necessary. Let’s take a look at the differences…
Fixed Wing Air Ambulance Jet Vs. Helicopter Air Ambulance
Well, the obvious first difference is that one is a helicopter and one is a jet airplane.
(And, please note that at Aero Jet Medical we only use jet airplanes – after all, the word “jet” is in our name. This makes a difference when choosing fixed wing air ambulances. In a jet, we can climb higher which allows us to go around weather offering a safer, smoother, more comfortable ride for our patients.)
But, why choose a jet airplane over a helicopter? They both fly – right? Helicopter emergency medical transport is a primary initial response. When you call 911 (consider our automobile accident again), a helicopter will get you to the nearby facility because they are used when flying the patient in a defined area – generally under 150 miles.
When Do I Need a Fixed Wing Air Ambulance?
But, let’s consider a few other scenarios. For example, you are visiting extended family out of state. You are pregnant, but not due yet and your doctor has cleared you for travel. After all, you have had a non-eventful pregnancy and neither you nor your doctor has any reason to believe that you won’t carry until your due date. So, you are enjoying your time with family, when suddenly, you go into early labor. You rush to the nearest hospital and the delivery goes well. But, you now have a premature child that needs care to get home. They may even need to be on a ventilator while their young lungs still develop. Our fixed wing air ambulance jet is an emergency room at 40,000 feet. We can get your newest family addition back home safely.
Another example to consider, you have returned to where you grew up for your high school reunion. You have had a great time catching up with friends when that heartburn you feel turns out to be a myocardial infarction (heart attack). The nearest hospital stabilizes you, but now you need weeks of cardiac care. You need to go home – but you need specialized care as you go.
Fixed Wing Air Ambulance Jet Cost
But isn’t a fixed wing air ambulance jet expensive? In our scenarios above, your insurance company wants you home. (And, you want to be home!) Consider this…in both examples, extended care will be needed after the patient is stabilized. Your insurance company doesn’t want you out-of-network for your care. So, we work with your insurance to get you home quickly and safely. You are back in the care of your doctors with your family and friends close by.
Helicopters and Fixed Wing Air Ambulances: Working Together
As you can see, there is a time and place for both helicopter air ambulances and fixed wing air ambulance jets. We hope you and your loved ones are never in a situation where you need critical healthcare services, but things do happen. So, you want to be ready! We are always ready to fly anywhere in the world to ensure that you and your loved ones have the best possible healthcare in the sky.