A request for MedEvacís service comes via radio and/or telephone from area communication centers, the hospitalsí
transfer centers, and other area hospitals sending their patients for care and procedures not available at their own facility.
For pre-hospital transport requests that are primarily for trauma patients, the communications technician receives the location and situation information, then alerts the appropriate air medical helicopter that is selected according to proximity by regional policy.
For inter-hospital transports, the communications technician obtains the location of the sending facility, the nature of illness or injuries of the patient, the need for any special critical care equipment for the transport (NICU care, IABP, etc.), and the patientís destination. Computers streamline this process to assist the communications technician with aircraft selection and alert notification enabling the MedEvac aircraft to be airborne within 5 minutes of the initial request.
With an aircraft dispatched and en route, the focus shifts to preparation at the pick-up location. After confirming navigational
information with the pilot, which includes the course and distance to the landing area, and the estimated time of arrival (ETA),
the Communications Center forwards the ETA to the pick-up location. Any additional pertinent information received by
the Communications Center is transmitted to the flight team on the aircraft. This information may include ground contacts, radio call
signs and frequencies, updated patient status, and landing zone information.
After this is done, the communications technician alerts the receiving facility to provide a brief overview of the patient situation and condition, and an approximation of the patientís arrival time. When the aircraft is en route to the receiving facility, an update of the ETA is forwarded to the receiving facility. Throughout the air transport process, on line communications with the MedEvac medical command physician is available to the medical flight team. Communications with referring and receiving squads and units is available to the flight team by way of an extensive array of communications capabilities on board the aircraft and within the MedEvac Communications Center.
Post Flight and Other Responsibilities
Once the aircraft has arrived at the receiving hospital, all pertinent information collected during the transport is compiled in the computer and appropriate portions are transmitted to the pilot and flight team for use in their documentation. The MedEvac Communications Center is an integral part of our program. The communications technicians work with personnel from the referring facility or communications center, flight team, and receiving hospital to help ensure effective, efficient and expeditious transport of the patient from an accident scene or referring hospital to the appropriate receiving facility.