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How to Become a Medevac Pilot

medevacA common question we are asked is what it takes to be a medevac pilot. Our entire staff is composed of well-trained professionals who understand and know what it means to be ready at a moment’s notice. More than most our pilots are under the most amount of pressure. A medevac flight can be stressful for all involved and depending on the situation a medevac staff may risk their own lives to help save another’s. If you are interested in becoming a medevac pilot there are a few keys to making your career your own.

If you are younger and seriously considering work as a medevac start as early as possible. In high school you can take math and science classes that will help you get into a college that specializes in flight training. In college if you want to be a medevac you will need to undertake lifesaving tasks as the member of a medevac crew. You will also have a heavy load of math and science classes. Join the ROTC program at your college which will give you more experience.

You can also get medevac training a couple of other ways. Some people join the military to give back to their country and it can also be a great training ground for anyone pursuing a medevac career. The military can give you life experience and training that no college or simulation can prepare you for. Joining the military will, however, force you into a commitment of several years.

If you want to apply for any job in the airline industry you need two major things, hours and licenses.  There are also private-sector training courses to become a medevac pilot. If you choose one of these courses you can learn at your own pace. This may be the right option for someone who needs to work, has a family or other life-circumstances where you need to be flexible. You can also choose your own license you want to obtain: Commercial, private, instrument or several instructor licenses. You will also need at least 1,000 flight hours to get most licenses you need to apply for medevac pilot jobs.

Most medevac companies are very picky and require several different licenses. For most an FAA medical license is required to pilot a medevac flight. You will likely need the highest available flying license available. If you hold a first class FAA license you will have a better chance at landing a medevac pilot job than anyone without it.

The path to becoming a medevac pilot can be long but you will be rewarded for your efforts. There is no such thing as too much experience in the medevac industry and taking your time will help you build the dedication you need for a very demanding industry.a

Depression Symptoms & FAQs


Infographic with tips for dealing with depression

Whenever a celebrity succumbs to an illness it usually, temporarily, raises the profile of the illness. Since Robin Williams committed suicide last week the talk for treating depression has been on the increase. Untreated depression is the leading cause of suicide in the United States, claiming over 34,000 lives each year. Overcoming stigmas associated with mental illnesses as well as understanding symptoms of depression will help people receive the care they need.

The major deterrent that keeps people from receiving help with depression is the stigma that others will associate it with a sign of weakness. The reality is depression is a disease, just like heart disease or MS or any other disease. Depression is a complex medical disorder that is much more than “being sad.” Depression has social, psychological and biological components and even “strong” people suffer from the disease. A disease that affects the chemistry of the brain is no different than a disease that affects the chemistry of any other organ.

So how do you recognize depression? Depression symptoms are more complex and varied than many think. Apathy, pessimism and hopelessness are major indications of depression as are feelings of guilt. Another sign of depression is a loss of interest in hobbies you used to enjoy, including a decreased sexual drive. Thoughts or attempts at suicide can result due to depression.

Depression can affect other areas of your life, especially sleep patterns. Depression can cause insomnia as well as oversleeping. Depression can change your eating habits as well, lowering your appetite. People who suffer from depression may see extreme weight variations, whether they gain or lose a lot of weight. Depression can affect your productivity at work and at home, making it difficult to concentrate, make decisions or remember things.

Like most disease depression comes in many forms. Clinical depression and chronic depression are the most common forms. There are times where people may feel sad but when the sadness lingers more than a few days and keeps you from functioning normally it is a sign of clinical depression. Another sign of clinical depression is extreme moods that worsen and difficulty dealing with rejection. Bipolar, or manic depression is more of a mood disorder that alternates between clinical depression and times of elation.

Treating depression varies by the person. Many people incorrectly believe that if you are depressed you will be on antidepressants the rest of your life. Research done by the Archives of General Psychiatry found that around 40% of people prescribed antidepressants will experience no benefits. Some people who suffer from depression may benefit from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or a combination of medication and therapy. In some cases taking medication can be limited over time with medical supervision.

If you, or someone you know, might be experiencing depression it’s important to understand and not be ashamed of the disease. Help is available. For more information visit the Anxiety and Depression Association of America.

Medevac & Post-Transplant Travel

medevacWhen most people consider contacting a medevac company because of a transplant they typically are thinking about pre-transplant needs. A medevac may be required for someone who needs a transplant if finding a match means they have to travel cross-country or somewhere in the world. A medevac flight can help in these situations but they can also be beneficial to people post-transplant. After a transplant there are a few crucial steps that you need to take to ensure a safe recovery. Travel can be tricky but with the help of medevac it doesn’t have to be impossible.

Depending on what kind of transplant you are having will depend on how soon you can travel. Typically for a lung transplant you can start to travel again as soon as you are feeling better. Extra precautions should always be taken, however. A medevac may be a good option if you are traveling after a lung transplant or any other transplant where you need to worry about infection. Infections after a transplant can cause major issues and having a trained medevac staff with you at all times during your travel can help keep your recovery on track.

Traveling after more involved transplants, like a heart transplantation can be more difficult. Many people use medevac flights to travel to get a heart transplant. Organ donation may be low based on the country so it makes sense to travel to a country with a higher rate or donors. After a transplant it may be necessary to use a medevac to return home. Travel after receiving a new heart takes common sense and having a trained staff of medical professionals with you will help you learn as you heal.

Children can bring an extra set of challenges with them. Many children need transplants (like a liver transplant) and parents will likely want to do everything possible to make sure their loved one can start being a kid again as soon as it is allowed by their doctors. Travel with children after a transplant is very possible, and even worth it for the family and for the child. It will take a little extra planning however. While the child may not need a medevac it is still a good idea to take phone numbers for his or her doctor just in case. You should also give your doctors your cell phone number in case they need to reach you. This is especially necessary for longer trips that will last longer than the normal period between blood tests.

At Travel Care our medevac professionals are ready at a moment’s notice to take you where you need to go. If you need to travel for a transplant or want to return home with a little extra insurance after your surgery our medevac flights can safely bring you where you need to go. For more health and travel tips please follow us on Twitter.

Ebola Virus Facts

international-air-ambulanceEbola has been in the news a lot recently with now three Americans who contracted the virus in Africa returning home. Some controversy about the ebola virus has spread about the potential affects on Americans. A lot of what has been discussed has lead to some misinformation and concern among the public about any potential dangers the people returning might bring home. At Travel Care our team of international air ambulance experts are here to help guide you through understanding the disease and what it means for Americans who travel.

Ebola virus causes a viral hemorrhagic fever disease. There are several symptoms of the disease including fever, headache, muscle aches, vomiting and abnormal bleeding, to name a few. Initially ebola can look like many other diseases like the flu. Symptoms are usually present within 8-10 days of contact with the virus. There is no vaccination for the virus and it has killed about 60% of the people who have contracted it. The fatality rate can be as high as 90%.

Right now West Africa is seeing the worst epidemic of ebola ever. West Africans have been dealing with the disease for several months now and the current outbreak has sickened over 1,300 people and killed several hundreds since March. The Centers for Disease Control have listed several warnings about traveling to certain countries in West Africa because of the virus. You should always check the CDC website before traveling anywhere. Currently all Americans are advised to avoid any unnecessary travel to countries like Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

Ebola is spread through bodily fluids only, like needles that have been in contact with infected bodily fluids. In several countries (including the United States) health workers have been sent to West Africa to help with the disease and contracted it themselves. Many in the United States are concerned about the disease spreading here because of the return of several affected workers. Because those affected have been quarantined there is no risk for the virus spreading here.

Right now the only people who are at risk and who are Americans are health workers who have traveled to West Africa to help sick patients with the disease. At Travel Care our team of international air ambulance experts are always here to help you with your travel needs. Our international air ambulance team has a lot of information about travel tips so you can stay healthy and safe. For more tips please follow our Pinterest boards.

Avoiding 5 Common Summer Injuries

1422472_22226314August is the most popular summer month for those favorite summertime activities. Along with the fun there is an increased for certain injuries that are specific to the summer months. There are several ways that you can take precautions to ensure an injury free summer with your friends and family. Being proactive when planning your summer activities will ensure a lot of safe fun.

BBQ Blunders

It’s estimated that over 8,200 accidents at home are caused by mistakes at the grill. If you’re hosting a cook-out be sure to exercise caution when lighting the grill. If you cover your grill while cooking be careful about how you open the grill to avoid too much smoke inhalation. Grill in a well ventilated area and use tongs to avoid burns. If you suffer a minor burn run cold water over the skin for 15 minutes or until the pain stops. Seek medical attention for more serious burns.

Sports Injuries

Summer is the perfect time to get outdoors and get active. Whether it’s hiking or running, swimming, biking or any other sport, being active can lead to an increased risk of injury. Most common sports injuries happen around joints like the elbow, ankle or knee but tendon tears and inflammation of joints can occur if you push your body too far. Head injuries can also be common with a fall.

Lawn Mower Accidents

An injury risk that surprises a lot of people, but is more common than you may think, is lawn mower accidents. Cutting the grass causes up to 80,000 Americans each year to have to go to the hospital for treatment of injuries.

To avoid a mishap with your mower make sure it is in good working condition. Make sure your yard is cleared of anything that could be flung by your mower blades and have ample sunlight when you cut the grass. You should always wear long pants, close toe shoes and sunglasses.

Bug Bites

Humans aren’t the only species more active in the summer. Insects are all over the place and some can carry dangerous disease. Ticks are common in the woods and can carry Lyme disease which is a very serious illness. If you head into the woods for a camping trip wear insect repellant on exposed skin and opt for lighter-weight long-sleeved shirts and pants.


A lot of people love a good tan in the summer but there are consequences for that bronzed look. Long term exposure to the sun can lead to skin cancer and immediate dangers like heat-related fatigue. Using sunscreen with an SPF of 45 or greater will block 98% of harmful sun rays and wearing a hat will help protect your head and face. Sunscreen should be applied every 90 minutes that you are in the sun continuously.

Prepare for Air Ambulance Trip

air-ambulanceDepending on your needs preparing for an air ambulance trip can be a stressful time. If you are in an emergency situation you may not have the help and the time to react to the many things you will need. The most important thing to remember is we are here for you. You may not be able to be prepared but our air ambulance staff is trained for anything and everything (and believe me we’ve seen it all).

It is also vital for you to remember to be calm if you need an air ambulance. We will make sure to ask the right questions to ensure that you have all the tools you need for your air ambulance trip. We can also answer your questions to help you prepare for your trip. There are ways to speed up the process if you are in a non-life-threatening situation, however, and we have a short checklist to help you prepare.

  • When calling let us know your location and where you need to go. To give a proper quote knowing locations is important for accuracy. We can also help coordinate locations if you aren’t sure.
  • Give as many details as possible about your needs. Are you in a dangerous situation (like a natural disaster) or do you have non-emergency needs? Many air ambulance patients need immediate service, while others have scheduled surgeries and specific dates/times they need to travel (like an organ transplant).
  • If possible have your medical history available so we can evaluate your condition to travel. This will help us know which medical personnel to assign to your flight.
  • If you are calling for a quote have your insurance information available so we can let you know what you qualify for. If you are traveling and have traveler’s insurance have that information handy as well. We can also help you coordinate and talk with insurance specialists.
  • Let us know if you will have a family member traveling with you. Your air ambulance flight will be customized for you so we need to know the exact number of people traveling.
  • Tell us if you need ground transportation once we arrive at the chosen destination. We offer bedside to bedside services upon request.

Our staff takes pride is going the extra mile for our patients and we will apply that same care to you. We are available any time and any day if you need us. You can learn more about our air ambulance services and get more tips to help you prepare by following us on Twitter.

Air Ambulance Targeted by Laser

air-ambulanceToday we came upon a story that a major impact on the air ambulance industry and it points to a troubling sign of the times. News out of Ireland this weekend was an air ambulance was attacked by someone pointing a laser at it. These kinds of laser strikes are becoming more common world-wide and we want to take time to highlight the dangers lasers can be for air ambulance pilots as well as commercial flights.

In this weekend’s case in Ireland the air ambulance was transporting a sick infant who was being moved to a different hospital for urgent treatment. Every life is precious to those of us in the air ambulance industry, however when an air ambulance comes under attack and an infant in on board it is even more sickening.

According to the pilots of this particular air ambulance they were scheduled to land about 10 minutes prior to the attack when suddenly they were blinded by the laser. The pilots of the helicopter said the laser was unavoidable and was like “looking into a bright green sun.

Most people don’t realize the harm they are causing when the point a laser in the sky. Whether intentional or a prank pointing a laser into the sky can easily cause a crash. Like these air ambulance pilots noted, when a pilot is blinded is has a severe impact on their ability to concentrate. In most situations the pilots of the air ambulance have no choice but to continue on with the flight.

Some pilots, depending on time of day and other factors will need to use night vision goggles. If someone strikes an air ambulance when a pilot has goggles on it can increase the dangers because the goggles are designed to intensify available light sources.

The FAA reports that the number of laser strikes against air craft has climbed sharply in the last decade with over 3,960 incidents last year alone. Attacking an air ambulance or other air craft is a serious federal offense and more and more cases are being prosecuted with stiff penalties for the attacker. In March a California man was sentenced to 14 years in prison for pointing a laser at a helicopter.

Fortunately this weekend’s attack on an air ambulance had a happy ending, with the infant safely reaching the hospital to receive care the young patient sorely needs. However one small factor could have changed the outcome of the flight thanks to one careless criminal. It’s our hope that governments world-wide continue to crack down on these attacks and people understand the damage their carelessness can cause.

Tips for Preventing Heat-Related Illness

air-ambulance-servicesWe are entering some of the hottest months of the summer in the United States and rest of the Northern Hemisphere. With the increase in heat and humidity our air ambulance services are often called to help with someone suffering from a heat-related illness. Signs of heat exhaustion can come rapidly and can affect anyone from an outdoor worker to someone spending time working in the garden. Heat-related illness can strike anyone, regardless of age or physical condition, however children and the elderly are more at risk.

The first key to preventing heat-related illness is to stop it at the source. There are several steps you can take to avoid suffering in the heat. First you should always wear loose-fitting and lightweight clothing. Make sure the clothes you wear are light colored. Darker colored clothes will hold the heat in and will prevent your body from cooling.

Another important part of your wardrobe for the outdoors in the summer months should include a lightweight, wide-brimmed hat. If you don’t have a hat use an umbrella or something else to protect you from the sun. Always wear sunscreen to avoid sunburn. Frequent sunburn can have dangerous long term effects but it will also reduce your body’s ability to cool down.

When you are outdoors in the heat hydration is the most important way to avoid heat-related illness. Staying hydrated allows your body to sweat, which is the best way for your body to  maintain a healthy temperature. Stick with water and avoid alcoholic beverages.

If you are traveling to a climate that is much warmer or if there is a sudden rise in the heat or humidity at home give your body a chance to get used to the heat. Don’t attempt any vigorous activity until you’ve been outdoors and had time to adapt. Our air ambulance services are often called upon because people who push their bodies (i.e. running) take it too far in a different climate.

Many people equate heat exhaustion with heat stroke however the latter is a much more serious result of the former. If you start to feel the effects of the weather get into an air conditioned building as soon as possible and get water into your system. Wait about 30 minutes to see how you respond. If you don’t feel better go to the emergency room.

At Travel Care our air ambulance services are here to help with any illness that may strike. Our air ambulance services are available no matter what the day to bring you home to receive the care you deserve. Our air ambulance services include staff members that will take care of your needs as well as the needs of your family. For more health and travel safety tips follow us on Twitter.

Signs of a Concussion

air-ambulanceSince it’s officially summer and most kids are out of school the risk of injuries, especially head injuries usually increase this time of the year. Adults are more susceptible this time of the year as well. A fall on the street or down stairs can lead to serious head problems especially if you ignore any potential problems. Concussions can be hard to identify and symptoms are usually subtle and not immediately apparent. In some cases concussions can happen in remote areas meaning an air ambulance may be required. There are vital things to watch out for if someone hits their head to see if they have a concussion or not.

There are immediate things to look out for when you think you might have a concussion. Headaches are a common first warning sign of a concussion, however not all headaches suffered if you hit your head necessarily mean you have a concussion. If, however, your headache is followed by a groggy feeling, nausea or vomiting, slurred speech, or having trouble answering basic questions, a concussion may be present.

According to the Mayo Clinic there are several signs for a concussion that may take a few hours to appear. These symptoms include concentration or memory troubles, mood changes like becoming more irritable and trouble with sleeping. Trouble with sleeping could mean you are sleeping a lot more than usual or a lot less. You may also notice an increased sensitivity to light and/or noise and problems with taste and smell. An untreated concussion can also lead to psychological issues over time like adjustment problems or depression.

Concussion symptoms in children may take on a few different forms than adults might experience. Children that appear dazed or tire easily may have suffered a concussion. Children with a concussion may have trouble walking or develop a lack of interest in a few of their favorite toys. Children may also cry more and be more irritable.

If you think you might have a concussion it is important to seek help. Our air ambulance has been used in cases where people have accidents in remote areas and concussions are a concern. If you are able to have someone take you to the doctor it is always best to do so within a few hours, especially if a child may have a concussion.

At Travel Care our air ambulance is ready to help you in your time of need. If you are in a remote area and have a fall, whether you are hiking or for any other reason, you may need an air ambulance to get the care you need. Don’t hesitate to contact us anytime and we will be able to answer your air ambulance questions and provide you with a free quote. For more about our air ambulance experts and for more health tips follow us on Twitter.

Air Ambulance Stories: Support Molly Deimeke

air-ambulanceThe most recent air ambulance mission conducted by Travel Care Air is one of the more unique trips that we have undergone in our 30+ years in business. We had the honor of helping the Deimeke family bring home their daughter Molly who was recently injured while traveling in Bangkok. The trip home for Molly spanned several different countries all in a very dramatic 24 hour period for her and her family as well as our air ambulance staff. Behind the scenes local and national media and the help of friends and total strangers lifted the spirits of everyone involved.

Deimeke was traveling in Laos and was injured when she fell off the back of a cab. She had no ID but the friends she made would eventually track down her hotel information and make sure that she was taken care of and her family was notified. Deimeke suffered serious head trauma as well as broken ribs, and was eventually transported to a hospital in Bangkok for care.

Her mom made the trip to Bangkok to be with Molly however the family knew they wanted her back home so they could have a less difficult time caring for her. The family reached out to us about our air ambulance and the trip was set up to bring Molly home.

While we were coordinating with the family to set up the air ambulance local and national news began getting word about the injuries suffered by Molly and the cost it was going to take to bring her home. Friends and family set up the “Love for Molls” fundraiser to help the family with the costs associated with bringing her home. The outpouring of support from everyone from close family and friends to total strangers has thus far raised over $26,000 however it is still a long ways from the goal.

The family booked the trip and on Thursday our air ambulance journey began. The trip would eventually lead to stops in four different countries and three different states before reaching its destination in St. Louis, Missouri.

At 8:30 am Bangkok time the air ambulance left and would eventually reach Manila in the Philippines later that day. Then the next air ambulance flight reached its destination in the Marshall Islands before reaching US soil in Honolulu Hawaii. The air ambulance mission then went to Salinas California and finally at 5:00 am Friday morning Molly and her family were reunited in St. Louis.

Remarkably enough, this air ambulance mission was only a half hour off its scheduled arrival time of 4:30 am. Considering all the stops along the way and the logistics of the trip the staff and everyone involved at each airport should be commended for the job they did.

Thanks to the care of the air ambulance staff at Travel Care, Molly is home getting the care she needs with her friends and family by her side. Her journey is far from over, however, and the family needs your help. You can help Molly’s family by donating to the “Love for Molls” campaign today. Visit the link to the campaign here.

Helping patients get there with care for over 30 years