July 31, 2013

Seattle To Saudi Arabia, Angel MedFlight Takes Patient Home

By Angel MedFlight Contributor

An elderly woman in need of critical care is living in Seattle. In her advanced age her wish is to go home to Saudi Arabia. Angel MedFlight Worldwide Air Ambulance made it happen.

The 8,556-mile medical flight into a far-off land with vast cultural differences took masterful planning by our flight coordinating and logistics teams and was executed with precision by our aviation department, pilots and medical flight crew.


Critical care flight nurse Lois Turner was a part of the crew that made this long journey to the Middle East and shared some of her experiences from the trip which needed some extra preparation efforts.

In Saudi Arabia, the customary attire for women is head-to-toe coverage in a mostly-black robe called an abaya. Angel MedFlight flight nurses and paramedics typically wear the familiar red and black flight suits while on duty. This being Angel MedFlight's first trip to this Arab state with a female medical crew member, our support staff had to act fast to  comply with the dress requirements. 

Director of Clinical Services Kevin Anderson and Clinical Educator Michelle Lohof snapped into action and found a local store that carried the necessary attire.  The two then raced to the airport and handed off the clothing to Turner before the Learjet 60 departed for Seattle.

Once in Seattle, Turner and Critical Care Flight Paramedic Cris Lecher met the patient and family at their home. The woman's two sons would accompany the patient to Saudi Arabia.

This being an extra long medical flight, the Learjet had to make a number of fuel stops along the way. The first leg took N160AJ to Goose Bay in the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador. From there it was to Keflavik in Iceland for more Jet-A and then the flight to England, where the family requested a layover in London.

Turner says the patient was, "quite a lovely lady, tiny in stature, but she seemed very excited about going back home. I think that her ultimate goal was to make it back to Saudi." The woman would soon be there.

From the layover in London, N160AJ was again airborne and on the way to Dammam Airport in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia after a brief fuel stop in Athens, Greece. 

Our critical care flight crew was attentive to the patient's needs throughout the long flight, taking extra care to make sure the woman was comfortable and re-positioned on the air ambulance.  Turner says one of the woman's sons had to act as a translator because while the patient seemed to understand  some English, she had difficulty communicating back. Although Turner and the woman could not speak the same language, she says the two were able to create a unique bond between them. "She always had a big smile on her face and told her sons, 'I just like her, she's good to me' and those kinds of things."

Arriving in Saudi Arabia was culture shock for Turner, who says when it was time to leave the aircraft, "it was as if I didn't exist...because I was female." Although she may have felt invisible amongst many of the locals, Turner and the rest of Angel MedFlight's flight crew will always be remembered by the elderly patient who was able to go home to her native land.

Turner takes away many positive memories from the trip "I always learn from every flight that I take, " says Turner. "I have opportunities to meet people from every walk of life, every ethnicity, every culture because they have something that they give to everyone.  It's that feeling that you get when you're with them. We may be taking patients home to hospice or to a higher level of care. But I always feel fortunate. They are the ones giving to me"


July 30, 2013

Wish Granted: Adriana's Quinceanera

By Angel MedFlight Contributor

We often take for granted our birthdays. For Adriana, reaching her 15th birthday was not a certainty. She has been battling cancer and to be able to celebrate her Quinceanera was her number-one wish.  This past weekend, Make-A-Wish Arizona granted that wish and Angel MedFlight Worldwide Air Ambulance was there to help document this very special life event.
Adriana dances with her father at her Quinceanera

A Quinceanera in the Latin American culture is the celebration of a girl's 15th birthday. It is a grand occasion that marks the girl's transition from childhood to young womanhood. To put the majesty of this occasion on a scale, observers will tell you it is as big, if not bigger, than some wedding celebrations.

Make-A-Wish Arizona  made this Quinceanera happen for Adriana, facilitated by more than $11,000 in donations. Donations that included the venue, the  Villa Tuscana in Mesa, Ariz. Her ceremony  took place in a large hall adorned with purple and white decorations. Adriana's long purple gown was fit for a queen. Five girls and five boys made up her court of honor -- damas in gowns on one side and chamberlanes in white tuxedos on the other.

Those in attendance had the pleasure of witnessing Adriana's formal entry, a toast, a lovely first dance with her father. Then came the family dance in which Adriana waltzed with her immediate relatives. Guests were treated to a buffet dinner of traditional Mexican food. A DJ provided the music but a Mariachi band also performed.
What would a party like this be without ice cream? One of the more popular attractions of the evening was an ice cream bar donated by Blue Bunny Ice Cream. There was also a long line for the Personal Nail Bar hosted by HopScotch , a local company that makes non-toxic nail polish for cancer patients.

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Adriana sits for the 'Changing of the Shoes' ceremony during her Quinceanera
Adriana and her court performed a beautifully choreographed dance routine in which Adriana "changed" into a butterfly. Her chamberlanes crowded around her and then a twirling Adriana emerged with wings on. There was also the changing of the shoes in which Adriana's parents took off her Converse sneakers and replaced them with high-heeled shoes.

One of the more moving parts of the night was ceremony of the last doll or "ceremonia de la ultima muneca." Here, Adriana passed down an approximately three-foot-tall doll dressed in a white gown to her younger sister. Several years before Adriana had the doll passed down to her by an older sister.

Angel MedFlight Worldwide Air Ambulance donated the time of its production team to videotape the occasion and the pageantry and happiness of this celebration made for wonderful video to remember the occasion.

While this was an occasion to celebrate Adriana's transition to womanhood, there was an underlying reason for the joy shared by Adriana and her family.  Adriana's cancer is in remission.

A Friday Sam Session

By Angel MedFlight Contributor

Sam the Golden Lab is Angel MedFlight's Director of Canine Operations. Recently he was kind enough to break away from his busy schedule at Angel MedFlight's pet-friendly office to join us for a little Q&A:

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Sam, Angel MedFlight's Director of Canine Operations
Angel MedFlight: Sam, tell our readers about your role at Angel MedFlight.

Sam: First I want to say thanks for giving me this opportunity to tell your readers more about myself. Angel MedFlight is an awesome place to work in that both humans and dogs are allowed to work in the same environment. Instead of us pooches staying at home barking at mail carriers, or us chasing our tails waiting for our owners to arrive home, we've been invited to spend days with our owners at the office. As Director of Canine Operations, one of my chief duties is to make sure the other dogs in the office stay in line and keep out of mischief.

Angel MedFlight: I've noticed you and your pals seem to have a great effect on us humans.

Sam: Well thanks, we try. Any office has its share of stressful moments and we like to think we can put a smile on human employees' faces if we just simply run down the hall once a day or walk into an office to sniff things out. Let's face it, we dogs love the attention. It's hilarious to see some grown men start talking in "baby-talk" to us. One of our newest Canine Corps members here at Angel MedFlight is Buddy the English Bulldog. He's just a pup and you ought to here folks gush over him. But that's cool as I received the same treatment when I was just a little guy with over-sized paws and a tendency to drool.
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Director of Canine Operations Sam celebrates a birthday at Angel MedFlight
I want to mention a couple other members of our Canine Corps that we have here on occasion at Angel MedFlight. We also have Katie the Great Dane and Baby the Mastiff working the hallways and poking into offices. They do a great job of keeping the morale high at Angel MedFlight. You've heard of Marshall University's Thundering Herd? Same thing when you have the three of us running down the hallway.

Angel MedFlight: What's your favorite time at Angel MedFlight?

Sam: Paws down, that has to be any office birthday party or catered lunch. I take it upon myself to be the official taster here at Angel MedFlight. I try to make a game of it, getting a piece of cake when the humans aren't looking.

Angel MedFlight: Tell us more about how pets can play an important role with patients.

Sam: I'm so glad you mentioned that. There's no doubt that having a pet along for a patient transport can only add to the patient's comfort. Let's face it, we have that effect on humans. I don't have to remind you that dogs are a man's best friend.
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Sam, Angel MedFlight's Director of Canine Operations
Angel MedFlight: So pets are allowed on Angel MedFlight Worldwide Air Ambulance flights?

Sam: They are but we need to know the size and weight of the animal before we determine whether the pet can accompany the patient. We would also ask that the pet be up to date on vaccinations and we need the pet confined to a pet carrier during the flight. And if there isn't enough space on the air ambulance aircraft, we'll gladly arrange for your pet to be transported commercially. At this time, Angel MedFlight cannot accommodate cats.

Angel MedFlight: Sam, we're so glad you could share with us your insights and we're  happy you and your Canine Corps can add cheer to the Dog Days of Summer.

Sam: Hey, watch that. No seriously, thanks for throwing me a bone.

July 26, 2013

It's Hurricane Season, Be Prepared

Almost two months into the hurricane season, forecasters are keeping a close eye on Tropical Storm Dorian which is gaining strength in the Atlantic. Angel MedFlight Worldwide Air Ambulance thinks now is a good time to remind you of the things you can do to prepare yourself for when these powerful storms come ashore. 

First a look at what's happened so far in the 2013 Atlantic hurricane season. Experts at Tropical Storm Risk (TSR) predicted a season of 15 named storms in the Atlantic with seven hurricanes and three major hurricanes. A major hurricane is one that is rated Category 3 on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane wind scale. Category 3 hurricanes have wind speeds between 111-129 mph.

The Atlantic hurricane season began June 1 and runs through November 30. Already there have been  four named storms: Andrea, Barry, Chantal and now Dorian, which is moving  toward the northern Leeward Islands. Forecasters say there's a chance that storm could hit the southeast U.S. sometime next week.

With that in mind, let's look at some of the basic things you can do to prepare yourself for a tropical storm or hurricane. The National Hurricane Center says on its website the two keys to weather safety are to prepare for the risks and to act on those preparations when alerted by emergency officials.
The first step in preparing for a hurricane is to gather information. Find out if you live in an evacuation area and know your home's vulnerability to storm surge, flooding and wind. Also, make yourself familiar with the meanings of National Weather Service's watches and warnings.

Get a list of contacts together including the Local Emergency Management Office, the county and local police and fire/rescue, local hospitals, local utilities, local American Red Cross, local TV and radio stations and your property insurance agent.

The NHC recommends you put together a basic disaster supplies kit and consider storage locations for different situations. According to FEMA, your disaster supplies kit should contain essential food, water and supplies for at least three days. How to build and maintain a disaster supplies hit can be found here.

Come up with Emergency Plans. A Family Emergency Plan can be downloaded from FEMA's www.ready.gov website. The site also has  also plans for workplace and school and how to care for your pets during a storm.  If you need to leave your home, review the FEMA Evacuation Guidelines and follow instructions given by local authorities. The NHC stresses that you are to leave immediately if ordered.

There are a number of ways to keep yourself informed about the paths of storms and ways to prepare for them. Some of the handiest tools are downloadable apps. A few of them are free with ads and others go for about $3.00.

One of the best educational resources about hurricanes and how to prepare for them is a 12-page booklet the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the National Weather Service have produced. It includes some great diagrams and all that hazards that a tropical cyclone can produce.  


If the forecasters are correct, the Atlantic season will include seven hurricanes with three of them major. Angel MedFlight Worldwide Air Ambulance urges people in areas that are commonly impacted to prepare for these storms well in advance. 

July 25, 2013

Preventing Child Drownings


By Angel MedFlight Contributor

There are four painful words that appear far too often in news headlines during the summer months and this summer is no exception: Child Drowns in Pool. A Google news search of the words "child drowns" brings up far too many of these tragic stories. In the Shreveport, La., area for example, three children have drowned in less than a month. Angel MedFlight Worldwide Air Ambulance is deeply saddened to learn of these tragic losses including one that happened recently in our Valley community. We'd like to remind you of the steps you can take to prevent these terrible accidents.

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, 300 children each year under the age of 5 drown in swimming pools and these are pools usually owned by a family member. On top of that, 2,000  children in that age group are treated in hospital emergency rooms for submersion injuries.

A CPSC study in Arizona, California and Florida found that 75% of  submersion victims were between the age of 1 and 3 years old and of that group, 65 percent were boys. The report says "Toddlers , in particular, often do something unexpected because their capabilities change daily."

The CPSC says child drowning is a silent death, that there is often no splashing to alert anyone nearby that the child is in trouble. Pool submersions happen quickly -- in the time it takes to answer the phone or the front door. In its study the CPSC says 77% of the victims had been missing from sight for 5 minutes or less.

Often in the news, we hear of family members who didn't see their child wander away. In the CPSC's study most victims were being supervised by one or both parents. A story on the  Shreveport Times' website reported that a 2-year-old girl drowned in an above ground pool. The report says she had let herself out of the house "while her mother slept and her father ran errands."

One way to protect against small children getting to the pool unnoticed is installing a door alarm.  The CPSC says that if the house forms one side of the barrier, then doors leading from the house to the pool should be protected with alarms that produce an audible sound when a door is unexpectedly opened. Install an alarm that can be temporarily turned off by an adult for a single opening of the door using a keypad or a switch that is out of a child's reach.

Alarms are just one barrier that can be used to guard against child drownings. Others include fences or walls and power safety covers. For above ground pools, steps and ladders that lead to them should be secured and locked, or removed from the pool when it's not in use.

Angel MedFlight Worldwide Air Ambulance reminds you to keep a close eye on your kids, especially when a pool is close by. Supervise small children wherever they can find water as children can drown in as little as an inch of water.  Remember to instruct babysitters about the hazards of swimming pools and let them know about protective devices in the home such as door alarms and locks. Let's make this a summer of fun-filled memories and not tragic ones.


For more information on preventing child drownings and detailed barrier recommendations call the CPSC's toll-free hotline at 1-800-638-2772 or visit http://www.cpsc.gov.

July 23, 2013

Patient Loading Utility System Ensures Safety and Comfort

By Angel MedFlight Contributor

Offering unparalleled care from the moment they arrive at the patient's beside at the sending hospital, to when they depart the receiving facility -- this is the heart of Angel MedFlight's bedside-to-bedside service. An essential piece of equipment in the company's bedside-to-bedside patient transport is the LifePort Patient Loading Utility System, also known as PLUS.

The PLUS includes an Advanced Life Support base unit, a manual loading system along with an AeroSled stretcher. The adjustable stretchers Angel MedFlight equips its aircraft with have a red frame with grey cushions and a five-point harness that ensure a secure and comfortable ride.


The entire PLUS unit slides into the airplane's floor seating tracks and comes equipped with two bottles of oxygen, regulators and suction outlets. It also has an electrical inverter to provide 110 volts of AC power through three outlets located on the side of the unit. The outlets can be used to power anything from medical equipment to the patient's cell phone.  The stretcher is secured onto the PLUS with spring-loaded locking pins.

The PLUS has inputs for oxygen, air and suction. Clinical Logistics Manager Miller says some patients need oxygen blended with air so the PLUS mixes filtered cabin air with the pure bottled oxygen.

Ever wondered how Angel MedFlight crews are able to get a patient on a stretcher onto a Learjet 60 with a stairway door? The patient is placed on the AeroSled stretcher at the sending hospital and is loaded on and off the air ambulance using an intricate system of detachable ramps.

Miller demonstrated the loading process by attaching a ramp bay bridge to the PLUS along with a clip deck and bridge. During the offloading process, the ramp bay bridge allows the stretcher to be turned toward and then out the aircraft door. The AeroSled then moves directly from the aircraft and down the ramps assisted by the flight crewmembers and onto the ground ambulance stretcher. This provides a seamless and comfortable transition from the air ambulance to the ground ambulance gurney.

The bridge is completely universal in that in can attach to any ground ambulance gurney by using Velcro straps. Miller says the entire process of moving the patient from the plane to the ground ambulance takes about 15 minutes.


From bedside to bedside, Angel MedFlight's LifePort Patient Loading Utility System helps to transport its air ambulance patients with the highest degree of safety and comfort.  

July 22, 2013

Angel MedFlight Answers: Who Provides the Care?

By Angel MedFlight Contributor

When it comes time to choose an air ambulance provider, there are usually many questions the consumer has about the services provided. Often the consumer wants to know what type of medical care is available on the air ambulance and who is providing the care.

First let's start with your very first call to Angel MedFlight. When you dial the toll-free number and connect with our world headquarters in Scottsdale, Ariz., your call is handled by a trained medical professional. Calls are answered 24 hours a day, seven days a week and 365 days a year. Other air ambulance companies may have minimum-wage employees or salesmen answering the phones. Our company features a flight coordination department staffed with nurses and experienced case 
managers. Flight coordinators offer round-the-clock availability and support. They will explain to the caller every detail of our service including our bedside-to-bedside service. Angel MedFlight is with you every step of the way through the patient transport.

A standard medical flight with Angel MedFlight Worldwide Air Ambulance consists of one registered critical care flight nurse and one critical care flight paramedic. This duo has a minimum of 10 years of combined experience. Many of these flight nurses and paramedics have specialized training in critical care, emergency medicine or other specialties.  This team of experienced medical professionals can handle virtually any incident that may occur during a medical transport.

Not only is each member board certified and air certified, our medical flight crew members undergo a rigorous initial orientation prior to flying with patients. The training never stops at Angel MedFlight as all medical personnel participate in 100 hours of didactic and clinical continuing education annually. And following each patient transport, our company performs a quality review.

Our medically configured Learjets are intensive care units in the sky. The standard medical equipment on an Angel MedFlight medical flight includes stretchers, oxygen, ventilator, cardiac monitor/defibrillator, resuscitation equipment, suction, intubation equipment, balloon pump, IV, ACLS drug complement and any other specialty equipment necessary for each individual patient. When it comes to antibiotics for bacterial and parasitic infections, Angel MedFlight jets carry the most proactive array in the air ambulance industry.

When choosing an air ambulance company, keep in mind Angel MedFlight's bedside-to-bedside service. In order to ensure continuity of care, our medical personnel are with the patient from the very beginning. Our team arrives at the patient's bedside at the sending hospital or facility and accompanies the patient in a ground ambulance to the airport. During the trip, the medical team is constantly monitoring the patient's condition while offering comfort and support. This unparalleled  care continues during the flight. Upon landing, the flight nurse and paramedic accompany the patient to the receiving hospital or facility.


As you can see, the type of care you will receive from our experienced medical professionals, from the very first call, puts Angel MedFlight at the top of the list when it's time to choose an air ambulance provider. 

July 18, 2013

21st-Century Artistry at Angel MedFlight

By Angel MedFlight Contributor

He'll stare at his monitors intently, one headphone jack in, the other out as he listens to music that helps him visualize and create. Occasionally he thumps the desk to the beat of his tunes as he dreams up the newest animation to our web site or an effect that really pops in a video. Instead of creating with brushes or pens, this 21st-century artist animates with clicks of a mouse or code typed onto a keyboard. Meet Angel MedFlight Web Designer Peter Wagner.

Wagner is one of the newer employees at Angel MedFlight joining the company in May after nearly six years as a website administrator for a Tucson real estate company. Wagner helps bring the Angel MedFlight and Travel Assurance Promise websites to life, "by plotting out how the pages look and how the content sits on the page." Wagner also writes the coding, such as JavaScript, CSS and HTML. He helps make "it fancy and look nice."

JavaScript is what makes a static web page become dynamic. As one views the Angel MedFlight website, they'll see some of Wagner's work: photos slide in and out and clicks of a mouse unveil a banner revealing more text, photos and a video player.  "It's kind of slight-of-hand type stuff when you really look at the back-end code. It looks fancy but you're really just tricking the eye."

Wagner says, "Make it dynamic and interesting to look at for the consumer. Draw a person into the page and point them in the right direction. A lot of doing design and layout is where your eye lands when it first sees the page and then how it progresses through the different items on the page. "  He points out examples of his work showing the writer photos and text that change out with smooth fades. "It's a way to make the page look more interesting and engaging."

The Angel MedFlight website existed long before Wagner arrived and as he puts it, "I'm standing on the shoulder of giants." He realizes the engine was already humming when he got here and he's charged with maintaining and creating various add-ons and upgrades. "I'm taking elements that have already been built and tweaking and adjusting them," says Wagner.

He's also had a hand in Angel MedFlight's video production, adding 3D graphics to various titles. Some of his work can be seen in the patient series "My Real Life Moment, which debuted this month and documents the real stories of real Angel MedFlight Worldwide Air Ambulance patients.

Wagner admits his mathematical mind helped him along the path to becoming a  web designer. A native of Tempe, Ariz., Wagner says he's always been fascinated with animation and will watch cartoons to this day. Of course, having a five-year-old daughter around the house makes that a daily experience.

Truly a Renaissance man, Wagner got into computers at a young age. Playing guitar and bass in bands led him to designing web sites for those bands. But  when it came to putting bread on the table, Wagner went to culinary school and worked in the restaurant business, opening two restaurants in Tucson.


But the 80-hour work weeks that come with managing restaurant kitchens didn't mesh too well with getting married and starting a family, so Wagner went back to his first love of web design. Angel  MedFlight Worldwide Air Ambulance
is glad that he did as his talents and creativity are a great addition to the company's business development team.

July 17, 2013

Improving Farmlands and Medical Flights; the Vision of Jeremy Freer

By Angel MedFlight Contributor
Success from hard work was instilled in him at a young age. He toiled on a dairy farm in Central Ohio and became the community's youngest volunteer firefighter. Years later after working as a flight paramedic, he'd see the deficiencies in the air ambulance industry.  Instead of settling for the status quo, he founded, at age 25, a leading worldwide air ambulance company. Now with July upon us, Angel MedFlight Founder and CEO Jeremy Freer is reminded of his Ohio roots as it's time to head back to the Buckeye State for the Knox County Fair.
The Knox County Fair runs July 21-27 in Mount Vernon, Ohio and is not far from the dairy farm Freer grew up on in Fredericktown. It's at the county fair that another of Freer's companies, Movers & Shuckers, exhibits its farming equipment and lets fairgoers know about the company's many services.
Angel MedFlight and Movers & Shuckers founder Jeremy Freer drives a combine
Freer wanted to give back to the Central Ohio community when he founded Movers & Shuckers in January 2012. The idea behind the company was first to bring jobs to the area. The region had been hit hard by the nation's economic woes as in  January 2010, Knox County's unemployment rate stood at 11.4%, well above the national average of 9.8%.
Freer created Movers & Shuckers to help area farmers with their growing operations and help landowners pay their taxes while maintaining their land. Today Movers & Shuckers is a full-service operation that provides custom farming, excavation, along with equipment rental and repair.
Freer's premise when he founded Movers & Shuckers was to build jobs and keep a strong economy in the local farming industry. He's kept that promise, graciously turning down another company's bid for collaboration or possible buyout last February. In doing so, Freer made it clear Movers & Shuckers has a very different approach to business.
If Freer sees a need for better service he acts. In the case of Angel MedFlight, he saw patients frustrated by insurance companies which left them stranded as they waited for medical flight benefits to be approved. He saw an inefficient system that needed fixing and seized upon the opportunity. Getting nowhere in seeking out venture capital and investors, he used about $1 million from credit cards to start Angel MedFlight.  Five years later Angel MedFlight is known not only for its unparalleled patient care. It's set apart by its team of healthcare, aviation and legal experts who are the backbone of the company's One Touch Promise, where one call assures every detail of a medical flight is handled.

Today, Angel MedFlight Worldwide Air Ambulance and Movers & Shuckers are two very different companies thousands of miles apart. But they are very much alike in that they were formed by a visionary who didn't accept the status quo but improved upon it by raising the bar.

July 16, 2013

Busy Month at Aviation West Charters

By Angel MedFlight Contributor

With an expanding fleet and pilot roster, it's been a very busy start of the summer for business charter flights with Angel MedFlight's Part 135 air carrier certificate holder Aviation West Charters. In addition to owning and maintaining Angel MedFlight's fleet of air ambulances, AWC charters luxurious state-of-the aircraft for business and leisure travel. The company has ramped up its number of charter flights and Flight Operations Director Brandon Kearns says, "It's been a record-breaking month."

Until the Citation X is rolled out, the Learjet 60 heads the company's charter fleet. The jets that Aviation West Charters owns and operates for charter service have sharp exteriors that feature sparkling paint jobs and clean lines. The Lear 60s have a range of over 2,000 miles and will nicely handle that business trip to New York -- or a week-long vacation to Paris. A mid-size business aircraft, the Learjet 60 has a global mission capability. 

A recent Aviation West Charters client rode one of the Lear 60s from outside Chicago to Gunnison, Colo., and was very pleased with the flight and it's Wi-Fi connectivity, a feature passengers will soon find on every AWC and Angel MedFlight aircraft. Flight Department Administrator and Dispatcher Joe Pierce says, "People love the airplane. They really love the high-speed internet. They can keep in touch with everything."

When passengers climb aboard the Lear 60 they'll notice immediately the luxurious and beautifully appointed stand-up cabin featuring plush leather seats and wood veneers. Pierce says the jet can seat seven passengers most comfortably but can handle eight if needed.

The company is also eagerly anticipating the launch of its Citation X, which can handle more passengers and has a longer range mission capability. The Citation X is currently undergoing upgrades and modifications at the Cessna service center in Mesa, Ariz., before it heads to Wichita for a fresh paint job.

Pierce works on scheduling the charter flights and utilizes the online charter booking tool Avinode to locate potential charter opportunities. Pierce says the tool "talks to our flight operation system (FOS) which we do all the quotes through. We can look at a particular day and see that we have an airplane in, for example, Teterboro, N.J., and here's a client who needs a trip from Teterboro to West Palm Beach. So let's put together a quote for them."

Aviation West Charters has a created a brand new e-brochure to help with marketing its charter service. The brochure goes out to prospective clients when they're given a quote. "The  e-brochure allows passengers to see the airplane inside and out and read about its features. Plus, there's Aviation West Charters contact information there if the client has any questions about their aircraft and the company's services," says Pierce.

Pierce says there's a lot of buzz about AWC charter jets having Wi-Fi. "It's something that people really look for.  A lot of people want to stay in contact with their office and they can go ahead and do what they need to do on the flights," says Pierce.

As for snacks and beverages on the airplane, Pierce says Aviation West Charters can take care of any special needs the client has. "Anything that they want for a beverage, we can do it." AWC uses catering services to create meals for the longer flights and passengers can enjoy full dinners on board with a bottle of wine. The jets are equipped with all of the glasses and silver wear.

The business charter service is highly competitive but where Aviation West Charters has an advantage is in the size of its fleet and the positioning of the aircraft. Pierce says the company may have an airplane that's in the area and, "we may be able to give them a good break on the reposition fee."


Pierce has a large map on the wall in his office that he uses to update the position of the Aviation West Charters aircraft. On this particular day Pierce is looking at a jet in Seattle that's ready to go to Saudi Arabia; one is in Cabo San Lucas and another is in Boston. Jets positioned in the United States and around the world -- exemplifying the global reach of Aviation West Charters and Angel MedFlight Worldwide Air Ambulance.

July 12, 2013

Our Yarnell Neighbors Need Your Help

By Angel MedFlight Contributor
Though the memorial service has been held, tears will continue to be shed for the brave firefighters who lost their lives battling the Yarnell Hill Fire just over a week ago.  Their caskets have made the long journey to Prescott and their bodies have been laid to rest. The wildfire that the 19 members of the Hotshot crew fought is now fully contained. But left behind in the inferno's charred path are over 100 destroyed homes.  That means families just up the road from Angel MedFlight Worldwide Air Ambulance have been left with close to nothing and need your help.
Over the weekend Angel MedFlight joined with Harley-Davidson of Scottsdale helping to raise over $100,000 for the families of the fallen firefighters and the Yarnell community. But there is still a great need for clothing and other items and Angel MedFlight is supporting the Arizona Business Aviation Association to aid in collecting those items.
AZBAA is announcing drop

boxes at four locations in the Valley. Residents in North Scottsdale can donate items at the Scottsdale AirCenter 15290 N. 78th Way, Scottsdale,  AZ 85250.
The other locations are:
Northminster Presbyterian Church, 12001 N. 35th Avenune, Phoenix, AZ 85029
Flipside, 4874 S. Val Vista, Gilbert, AZ 85298
Gordon & Rees LLP, 111 W. Monroe Street, Suite 1600, Phoenix, AZ 85003
What items are needed? Imagine you've lost your home and virtually all of its contents. Our displaced friends in Yarnell need non-perishable food items. Sure, canned goods are great, but as we heard in a recent AZBAA meeting, the folks in Yarnell need canned foods with meat in them. So think of donating canned chili with meat, cans of pasta with tomato sauce and meatballs. If you donate a box of Tuna Helper, donate cans of tuna with it. And what good is a large can of beef stew that  feeds four without a can opener? Donate one of those if you can.
The displaced residents in Yarnell can also use gently used clothing, so now's the time to go into the closet and give away those clothes you wore once and never really liked the color. Those hardly worn jeans that don't fit you anymore will be a godsend for a person who's lost everything in Yarnell.
Don't forget the little ones. Our small children grow out of their clothes so quickly and now there are kids in Yarnell who need things to wear. You've thought about giving away your toddler's shirts and pants and infant pajamas? Bring them to a drop box location and they'll get in the hands of the people who really need them.
Personal hygiene items are always appreciated during a natural disaster. Items such as shampoo, soap, shaving cream, razors and bath tissue can also be donated.

The fire is out, but the suffering of these displaced residents will go on for weeks, months and possibly years as they rebuild. Angel MedFlight Worldwide Air Ambulance thanks you in advance for your generosity.

July 11, 2013

A System Analyst's Long Road to Angel MedFlight


By Angel MedFlight Contributor

From Texas to the Kenyan savanna and later to Virginia, North Carolina and finally Arizona, Angel MedFlight Systems Analyst Harris Kinyanjui has had one of the longest journeys to our company. He joined Angel MedFlight in the Spring of 2013 and paired with colleague Ian Connor, makes up a solid Information Technology team.

Kinyanjui (pronounced kihn-yan-JOO'-ee) was born in the Dallas suburb of Waxahachie, Texas before moving to his parents' native country of Kenya and getting most of his early schooling in the east African nation. Yes, they drive on the other side of the road there and still enjoy their afternoon tea, but Kinyanjui affirms from more recent visits to Kenya that getting together to socialize in person is still common there and is not taking a back seat to socializing through one's mobile device.

With a smile on his face, Kinyanjui describes how here in the states, we almost always call someone to see if we can pay them a visit. In Kenya, he says, everyone just drops in. No need for any advance warning, hospitality is totally an open-door policy there.  
His long road took him through college at both Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va., and UNC Charlotte. After college it was on to working for wireless phone companies in Charlotte and other IT jobs before moving to Arizona in the summer of 2011 and working IT for the city of Gilbert.

Kinyanjui and Conner are the unsung heroes at Angel MedFlight. Like most offices, the "techs" or "IT guys" are the ones to call when the office computer is acting strange or your password changed over the weekend and you can't log on. Angel MedFlight's systems analysts handle many different tasks each day. Sure, they are there for desktop support, but Kinyanjui is often called upon to work with Salesforce, our cloud-based customer relationship management program and  our high-tech phone system.  

At previous companies, Kinyanjui often had to fix an existing IT setup, but at a relatively new and growing company like Angel MedFlight, he enjoys how he's able to lay some foundation and help build some of the systems here. When he was looking at the company as a possible job opportunity, "what really intrigued me was they are looking to add new servers and new technology because this company is constantly growing," says Kinyanjui.

A self-proclaimed geek, Kinyanjui enjoys the multi-faceted challenges he faces on a day-to-day basis here. And he knows that if he can't make the fix, there is another talented person right next to him who can.


The work Angel MedFlight does with its medical flights and providing patients unparalleled care has made a deep impression on Kinyanjui. When people see the company logo they often react by saying 'Oh, you're the air ambulance company,' and in modest fashion he replies, 'Yes but I only work on the computer side.' On the contrary. Kinyanjui is just another of the hardworking employees at Angel MedFlight, who humbly minimize their role -- when in actuality they are an integral part of this growing company, which strives to raise the bar in the air ambulance industry.

July 9, 2013

Raising The Curtain on My Life Moment

By Angel MedFlight Contributor

Post production is done and it's time for the rollout. This week, the first of Angel MedFlight's "My Real Life Moment" patient stories videos will be released. These videos feature real patients and real stories and allow the viewers to ride along on our air ambulance flights and get an inside look at the patient care provided by our critical care flight nurses and paramedics. 


These are real people and their real stories. The patients and families you'll see gave Angel MedFlight permission to document their stories in order to help other families who may be experiencing similar situations. 

The first video to  be released this week features the story of Jaxon Davis, a loveable five-year-old boy and his courageous battle with brain cancer. Viewers will watch his parents describe how they learned of Angel MedFlight when Jaxon's condition worsened while they were on vacation. An anonymous donor stepped in and helped get little Jaxon transported home.

Another story will revolve around a homeless man in San Francisco who was critically injured when struck by a hit-and-run driver. Years earlier Selester "Les" Rowe had been an architectural engineer, a graduate of the Tuskegee Institute. His family in Columbus, Ga., was unaware he was homeless until he ended up hospitalized in San Francisco with life-threatening injuries.

Rowe's family wanted him back home and in this edition of "My Real Life Moment," viewers will see how people in more than one community embodied that true American spirit and rallied to pay for his medical flight from the San Francisco Bay Area to Columbus.

"My Real Life Moment" journeys will transport the viewers to the tarmac at Scottsdale Air Center where Jessica Neri-Lucero is about to board an Angel MedFlight air ambulance. Neri-Lucero is a mother of four surviving quintuplets who are being flown to Watertown, N.Y., to be reunited with their father, a wounded combat veteran  now retired from the Army. Neri-Lucero went through a number of miscarriages and lost twins in April 2012 before being blessed with the quintuplets. Watch in this "My Real Life Moment" episode as our acclaimed neonatal flight crew accompanies the precious passengers back home.


These are just a few of the patient stories viewers will see in the upcoming months. These stories are heart-rendering and inspiring. Tears will be shed but viewers will come away with a fresh perspective of Angel MedFlight's air ambulance service and the level of compassion our company gives from the very first call.

July 8, 2013

A Neonatal Transport: 'Doing Something Truly Amazing'


Angel MedFlight Chief Compliance Officer Kelly LoCascio

By Kelly LoCascio

Forward by Angel MedFlight Contributor

This week, Angel MedFlight's acclaimed neonatal team was called upon to help transport a five-week-old infant suffering from a rare digestive condition. The mother would accompany the little boy on the almost 2,300-mile journey from Scottsdale to Boston. The infant was headed for Boston Children's Hospital where he'd receive lifesaving treatment from a specialist. He'd also be reunited with someone very special in his young life. 

Kelly LoCascio is the Chief Compliance Officer for Angel MedFlight Worldwide Air Ambulance and would accompany the patient, mother and crew on this journey as a company spokesperson. 

Our employees speak and write about the unparalleled service this company provides on a daily basis, but it's not until one gets the chance to actually accompany the patient and crew on one of our medical flights that they get the clearest representation of the kind of care our critical care flight nurses and critical care flight paramedics provide.

LoCascio was so moved by the experience she penned a diary of the event: 

I have been with Angel MedFlight since 2008.  With just five employees when I came on board, I feel I have worn almost every hat I am capable of wearing for the company.  As a lawyer and compliance officer for Angel MedFlight I know every flight, I know why the flight needed to happen, I have scoured the medical records, I know the capabilities and credentials of our medical teams and pilots and I appreciate the complexity of every mission.  At least, that is what I thought until I flew a mission with our neonatal team.

Air ambulance is not a topic you discuss at the coffee shop.  It is not something you plan for as you pack your bags for your summer family vacation.  Air ambulance missions happen around you 24 hours a day and you probably never notice the men and women in their flight suits and equipment.  “What is going on?” or “What is Angel MedFlight?” are the questions I get as people pass by the aircraft as our crews load patients.  I have answered these questions a thousand times in my five years and every time I explain it I feel the emotion of the complexity of the situation sink in with my new friend.  Many questions follow.

Sitting in the back of the aircraft built to operate like an intensive care unit, the crew does not recognize I exist.  After flying for years with Angel MedFlight people have the impression that transports become routine but nothing can be further from the truth.  This is apparent as I watch the critical care team operate around one another, work with the family to answer their questions, and diligently care for the patient that there is nothing routine about their job.  For the next five hours the life of this infant is solely in their hands.  There is no second floor for more tests, there is no other team to bring in to consult, there is no waiting to see what the test results say because this medical crew is 35,000 feet in the air with nothing but their exhaustive training, natural skill and confidence in the team to get the patient to the receiving hospital where much needed specialized care is waiting.

With every beep of the baby’s machine and change in the monitor I find myself get tense.  I catch myself staring constantly at the changing numbers and the expression of this little man who joined this world just five weeks ago.  The crew continues to document this tiny patient’s every move and is focused on what he needs minute by minute.  Then I look to his momma.  She is at peace.  Everything is under control.  Her entire world is sitting right next to her hooked up to machines and monitors and is in the hands of the elite of the elite in air ambulance transports.  His daddy is waiting in Boston for this aircraft to arrive and he is certain to have missed them both dearly for the last four weeks as he has been away serving his country in the military.  The specialist that will give her son the chances he needs in life is most likely preparing to care for his newest patient.  I sense that this trip could not have come fast enough and now reality has allowed her to accept that her baby is headed to where he needs to be.    

As we land I think to myself…we are doing something truly amazing.  I have felt this same feeling on many instances as I combed the records of a patient needing transport.  In fact I defend the availability of transports like this every day for our patients.  I understand ERISA, the intricacies of insurance benefits, aviation regulations and medical standards.  Those words I write on a daily basis are artful but are nothing compared to the emotion impressed upon you when you are in the middle of the mission.  Air ambulance will never be a dinner topic and it never should be.  But when asked I simply hope that I can articulate for the inquirer what it means to have this service available no matter what time of the day or where you are in the world.  When the unplanned happens, the planning that has gone into bringing a loved one to where their medical needs demand has been precisely perfected by Angel MedFlight.


I am happy to answer the questions when you see Angel MedFlight on my shirt because I am extremely proud of what this small team of like-minded individuals has accomplished.  My words will never do the mission justice and they do not have to.  I smile as I write this because the mission, much like the expression on the face of a mother sitting next to her baby in a flying intensive care unit, speaks for itself. 

July 5, 2013

Teaming Up to Support Fallen Firefighters and Yarnell


By Angel MedFlight Contributor
Less than two months ago the Phoenix area was saddened by the news of the deaths of a police officer and firefighter on the same day. Now the region and Angel MedFlight Worldwide Air Ambulance are mourning again. This time 19 brave souls were lost while fighting the wildfire in Yarnell, Ariz. Their families and the Yarnell community have suffered great losses and Angel MedFlight is partnering with Harley-Davidson of Scottsdale to get them much-needed help.



This Saturday Angel MedFlight will be at the Harley-Davidson dealership in Scottsdale for an all-day fundraising event. The event begins at 8 a.m. with a tribute pancake breakfast sponsored by Harley-Davidson of Scottsdale and the Scottsdale HOG Chapter, HOGZ United Charities.

Angel MedFlight feels a certain bond with firefighters. Our founder and CEO Jeremy Freer worked as a volunteer firefighter in Ohio and some of our flight paramedics have experience battling wildfires like the one that continues to burn near Yarnell. When firefighters or EMS personnel are lost, we feel as if we've lost a member of the family.

Saturday we are offering our support to the grieving families of the Hotshot crew and also the displaced citizens of Yarnell. We will have a booth at the event staffed by Angel MedFlight employees and urge those who stop by to purchase a raffle ticket to win an all-inclusive trip for two to Hawaii. We will also have other giveaway items. Jackie Martinez with our business development team says, "Our team is so inspired by the community stepping up and wanting to get involved during this tragic time. We hope that this contribution can help inspire more people to get involved in this great cause."

Harley-Davidson of Scottsdale is donating several prizes toward the raffle including a VIP grand prize package to see Kid Rock in concert at the Ak-Chin Pavilion on July 24th. All proceeds are going directly to the 100 Club of Arizona Survivor's Fund.

In order to provide aid to the fire-stricken Yarnell community, organizers will be accepting donations of non-perishable food and personal hygiene items along with clothing.

The local motorcycle dealership will donate 10% of Saturday's total motorclothes, parts and service sales and the dealership will match the total funds raised. In addition, $1,000 of every bike sold will be donated.

Angel MedFlight Worldwide Air Ambulance and Harley-Davidson of Scottsdale urge all who would like to help the Yarnell Community to attend this event. It's being held at the Harley-Davidson of Scottsdale dealership at 15600 N Hayden Rd., Scottsdale, AZ 85260.

July 3, 2013

More Jets, More Pilots: Angel MedFlight's Growth

It is a busy time around the office of Angel MedFlight as our operations are expanding. Well-established as a leading worldwide air ambulance service, Angel MedFlight is branching out and looking to serve more charter passengers through our Part 135 air carrier certificate holder Aviation West Charters.  


Angel MedFlight is a dba company of Aviation West Charters and owns, operates and meticulously maintains a fleet of medically configured jets. By having our own air charter certificate, we control the quality of the jets we operate. It means we choose the advanced avionics and safety features that exceed FAA standards.

The fleet size has quadrupled and so has our roster of pilots. Flight Operations Director Brandon Kearns says in preparation for the launch of our Citation X,  the company has upgraded its training program. "We've formed a new alliance with a new training center out of Dallas that will be able to appropriately accommodate our training and checking needs." Kearns says the Dallas training center, "can accommodate our increase in growth and the increase in the amount of training and checking events we have every year to ensure that we have the safest flight crews in the industry."

Kearns says Aviation West Charters is ramping up its operations and "aggressively pursuing passenger charter opportunities as this is another area of the company we're seeing growth in."
The Angel MedFlight air ambulances transport passengers on a daily basis to hospitals in such locations as Los Angeles, New York, and Chicago -- and sometimes as far off as Peru, Turkey and Norway. Now with an expanded fleet, our Aviation West Charters can fly passengers to a business trip in New York or a week-long vacation in Tuscany.

Quadrupling  the fleet size also means more patients will be able to experience Angel MedFlight's unparalleled care. We recently opened an office in Honolulu, Hawaii which will facilitate inter-island medical flights. Patients needing medical flights from the islands to the mainland will be able to utilize the longer-range Citation X air ambulance.


Whether it's a medical flight or charter service, our jets are luxurious.  The cabins feature plush leather seats, wood veneers and many passenger amenities. All of our jets will soon have Wi-Fi connectivity and passengers using the provided iPads on board will be able to watch movies, play games and surf the internet.


These are exciting times Angel MedFlight and Aviation West Charters . Our wingspan has grown and we are ready to serve more patients and charter passengers. 

July 2, 2013

Keep Your Sight, Know the Dangers of Fireworks

By Angel MedFlight Contributor
As we close in on the annual Independence Day celebration, we look forward to taking in a fireworks show.  And when it comes to safety, having trained professionals set off those pyrotechnics is the only way one should enjoy fireworks. The potential risk of setting off fireworks yourself is too great. Prevent Blindness America reminds us during National Fireworks Safety Month that injuries from fireworks accidents can affect us for the rest of our lives.
Children are especially prone to fireworks accidents. There is a great temptation for them to tag along with the rest of the neighborhood kids and set off firecrackers, smoke bombs, sparkling geysers and more. It's not just the person lighting the fireworks who are risking injury but bystanders as well.

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, there were an estimated 8,700 consumers treated in U.S. hospital emergency rooms for fireworks-related injuries in 2012 and of those injuries 600 hundred were to the eyes. The CPSC's annual  report says 60 percent of all fireworks injuries occur during the 30 days surrounding the July 4th holiday.
Most injuries were associated with fireworks that malfunctioned or were used improperly. Fireworks that malfunction travel in an unexpected flight path and drop dangerous debris. Improper use includes lighting a firework too close to someone or lighting fireworks while holding them and playing with lit or used fireworks.
As for those fireworks that are frequently considered 'safe' for children, like bottle rockets and sparklers? They aren't safe at all. The CPSC report shows that about 1,000 reported injuries in 2012 involved bottle rockets and sparklers. According to the CPSC's report, sparklers and bottle rockets combined caused 24 percent of fireworks-related injuries and 23 percent were caused by firecrackers.  
Prevent Blindness America offers a number of tips to prevent fireworks-related injuries. First on the list is to not purchase, use or store fireworks of any type. Also be aware that sparklers are dangerous and cause 50% of fireworks injuries in children 14 and younger. They recommend attending only authorized public fireworks displays which are conducted by licensed operators. But they warn that injuries can still occur at those types of displays.
Prevent Blindness America is the nation's leading volunteer eye health and safety organization. Founded in 1908, it is dedicated to fighting blindness and saving site.

Angel MedFlight Worldwide Air Ambulance wants everyone to enjoy this Independence Day and to remember that the safest way to enjoy a fireworks display is to view one managed by trained and licensed professionals.

July 1, 2013

Working Together, Case Managers and Angel MedFlight

By Angel MedFlight Contributor 

Exhibiting last week at the 2013 Case Management Society of America's Annual Conference and Expo in New Orleans has only reinforced our great appreciation for case managers and the work they do.

When a patient is in need of health services, the case manager is there to coordinate those services and advocate for the patient.  They serve as a middle man between the patient and the provider.  Hospital care, X-rays, prescriptions and more, just think of all the paperwork and red tape that needs to be navigated through. Case managers meet the task head-on.
Case Managers visit the Angel MedFlight booth at the 2013 CMSA national conference

"Many times case managers are the bridge between Angel MedFlight and our patients. They act as advocates, similar to our team here at Angel MedFlight," says Jackie Martinez of the Angel MedFlight business development team.

The CMSA has an eloquent description of the Philosophy of Case Management on its website. It reads, "The underlying premise of case management is based in the fact that when an individual reaches the optimum level of wellness and functional capability, everyone benefits: the individuals being served, their support systems, the health care delivery systems and the various reimbursement sources."

The case manager streamlines the process of acquiring the necessary care for a patient. When that care involves a medical flight, our case managers contact Angel MedFlight's worldwide air ambulance service.  At Angel MedFlight, our fight coordinators, registered nurses and case managers are there to cut through the red tape as well. 
Angel MedFlight representatives at the 2013 CMSA National Conference

One call to Angel MedFlight's air ambulance service does it all. As part of the  One Touch Promise® our experienced team of experts in the fields of medicine, aviation, insurance law  and case management handle every detail. Like all case managers, Angel MedFlight believes in handling the details so  the patient doesn't have to. Case managers enjoy their association with us because we lessen their workload by making phone calls and submitting insurance documents.

On spending the past week at the CMSA's national conference, Martinez says there's nothing better than being able to connect with case managers face-to-face. "Being at the CMSA national conference was an extra opportunity for our team to have conversations with our case managers that utilize our services for their patients."  During those conversations we get important feedback.  "The first question we ask when they tell us they've used our air ambulance service is, 'How was your experience?' Hearing their responses helps us constantly continue to work efficiently and effectively."


Angel MedFlight has a deep appreciation for case managers and looks forward to meeting up with them throughout the year and at the 2014 national conference in Cleveland.