Air Transport




  • Air transport should be utilized whenever patient care can be improved by decreasing transport time or by giving advanced care not available from ground EMS services, but available from air medical transport services (i.e., blood).




  • Improve patient care in the prehospital setting.
  • Allow for expedient transport in serious, mass casualty settings.
  • Provide life-saving treatment such as blood transfusion.
  • Provide more timely access to interventional care in acute stroke and ST-elevation myocardial infarction.




  • Patient transportation via ground ambulance will not be delayed to wait for helicopter transportation. If the patient is packaged and ready for transport and the helicopter is not on the ground, or within a reasonable distance, the transportation will be initiated by ground ambulance.


  • Air transport should be considered if any of the following criteria apply:


      • High priority patient with greater than 20 minute transport time
      • Entrapped patients with greater than 10 minute estimated extrication time
      • Multiple casualty incident with red/yellow tag patients
      • Multi-trauma or medical patient requiring life-saving treatment not available in the prehospital environment (i.e., blood transfusion, invasive procedure, operative intervention)
      • Time dependent medical conditions such as acute STEMI or acute stroke that could benefit from the resources at a specialty center.
  • If a potential need for air transport is anticipated, but not yet confirmed, an air medical transport service can be placed on standby.
  • If the scene conditions or patient situation improves after activation of the air medical transport service and air transport is determined not to be necessary,
  • Paramedic or administrative personnel should cancel the request by communicating face-to-face with the on-scene Fire Department Incident Commander.


  • Minimal Information which should be provided to the air medical transport service include:


    • Number of patients
    • Age of patients
    • Sex of patients
    • Mechanism of injury or complaint (MVC, fall, etc.)