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20 Facts About Air Ambulance Services

A lot of confusing information exists about the industry that we have called home for over 35 years. Air ambulance services have helped people in need since before the Wright Brothers, and the private industry continues to grow in the United States. Where have we been? Where are we headed? Here’s a few facts about the medical transport industry!

1. The term “air ambulance” originated in France. The French military used balloons to transport injured soldiers as early as 1870 during the Siege of Paris.

2. The first real air ambulance flights started in WWI to transport injured soldiers.

3. Helicopters are the most common air ambulance services, that provide immediate assistance to people without access to ground ambulances.

4. The average air ambulance flight is 52 miles.

5. Private air ambulance jets provide immediate and on-call assistance to people in need that need an air ambulance flight over 100 miles.

6. England’s Prince William works around 20 hours a week for an air ambulance company as a volunteer.

7. International air ambulance services, like Travel Care Air offer the ability to transport injured patients all over the globe, making health care more global than ever before.

8. The average cost for air ambulance services range from $12,000 to $25,000 for domestic helicopter flights.

9. Commercial air ambulance services are available for people who are able to fly on regular flights, but need medicine or other medical equipment. Commercial services include a medic (or “medical escort”) and any medical equipment that the patient needs and are more affordable than private services.

10. The private air ambulance industry was founded in the 1930s in remote areas in Canada, Scandinavia and other countries to provide health care to remote citizens.

11. The air ambulance industry expanded in the 1980s, and companies continue to grow in the United States and in hundreds of other countries.

12. Travel Care Air started in 1980 in Wisconsin and has been in continuous operations since, with current headquarters in Charleston, South Carolina.

13. The average salary for air ambulance workers in the United States (pilots or nurses) is $68,000 for full time workers.

14. The medical transport industry employs over 21,000 people in the United States.

15. The Association of Air Medical Services estimates over 400,000 patients are flown by air ambulance services each year in the United States.

16. The most common request for our air ambulance services is American citizens injured in other countries who want to come home to receive care. Typically the most common injury is trauma-related.

17. The second most common request is international citizens and dignitaries coming to the United States for health care needs.

18. Technology (i.e. night vision goggles) have helped to improve safety in the industry in the last decade.

19. The annual growth in the air ambulance industry has been 2.7% from 2010-2015.

20. The global air ambulance industry is expected to grow by almost 10% in the next five years, in part due to an aging world population.


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