Classic Air Medical the premier HEMS medevac service based in Rock Springs, Wyoming.
Today we traveled from our lovely stay in Colorado Springs all the way to Rock Springs, Wyoming! We made several stops along the way as we flew through a mountainous region with high winds! Along the way, we stumbled upon an airport that was home to the #HEMS Classic Air Medical team, and we had the opportunity to explore their facilities! These folks are heroes of this area and were so welcoming! They welcomed us into their home, and we appreciate the kind gesture!
Classic Air Medical
What started out as Classic Tour Helicopters, a business that provided picturesque flights to customers above Bryce Canyon, gradually turned into so much more when they became known locally for their air transport service. The National Park Service would frequently call on them whenever an individual was injured and/or located in an area that made it quicker to extract them via helicopter than by ambulance or boat.
Classic Air Medical began on Memorial Day in 1988 when the company's initial helicopter and one pilot were joined by a medical crew of two basic-level Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT). They initially operated as a part-time seasonal service to transport ill and injured individuals from Lake Powell to capable medical facilities during the National Park Service's season.
As the requirements in the region evolved, their attention shifted from giving tours as they employed a specialized flight crew and a helicopter dedicated to the operation. The area's base of operations was relocated closer to Lake Powell; from there, the program grew. Classic Air Medical has established a reputation for excellence and safety while providing emergency and inter-facility transport services for over 30 years.
They rapidly became an indispensable service for many communities in Wyoming, and it soon spread to other states. The company has a longstanding tradition of providing quality care to patients, and it remains at the forefront of helicopter emergency medical services (HEMS).
Classic is headquartered in North Salt Lake, Utah, but also has bases in Wyoming, Arizona, Colorado, and New Mexico. In 2021 Classic was acquired by Intermountain Healthcare, a not-for-profit system of 33 hospitals based out of Utah that includes a medical group with 3,800 physicians as well as other health services.
History of Medevac
In the United States, helicopter medevac services began during the Korean War. The first recorded use of a helicopter for medical evacuation in the U.S. took place in 1950 when an H-13 Sioux from the 8th Army Air Force was used to evacuate a wounded soldier from the battlefield.
During the Vietnam War, the use of helicopters for medevac purposes became more widespread. In 1965, the U.S. military established the Dust Off program, which was responsible for evacuating over 20,000 casualties during the conflict.
Since then, helicopter medevac services have been used extensively in a variety of settings, including civilian accidents and natural disasters. In recent years, such services have become an increasingly vital part of the emergency response infrastructure in the United States. Air medical services have extricated countless people from complex and often life-threatening situations for over 60 years in the United States.
A critical care transport (CCT) helicopter is a specially outfitted and staffed helicopter that provides emergency medical services to patients who require critical care transport. CCT helicopters are typically staffed by a pilot, a flight nurse, and a flight paramedic. In some cases, a physician may also be on board.
CCT helicopters are equipped with advanced life support equipment, including cardiac monitors, IV pumps, and ventilators. They also have access to blood and plasma products and other medications that may be needed in an emergency situation.
CCT helicopters transport critically ill or injured patients to trauma centers or other specialized facilities where they can receive the care they need. These helicopters can land in remote areas and in difficult-to-reach places, such as on top of buildings or in parking lots.
The use of CCT helicopters can mean the difference between life and death for critically ill or injured patients. When every second counts, these helicopters provide a vital link between the patient and the care they need.
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Steven loves to fly helicopters around the country and share his unique journeys with you. He recently completed a 3,000-mile flight around the USA.
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