1. May a family member accompany the patient?
Yes, First Flight encourages a family member to accompany the patient on the flight. There are some rare instances where an additional passenger is unable to travel with a patient, but we do all we can to accommodate a loved one or family member to travel with a patient.
2. How is it determined if a patient requires an air ambulance?
Rural Texas requires fixed wing air transportation due to the distance and time differences between air and ground transport to the closest accepting hospital. When a Dr. has determined that a higher level of care is needed air transport will then become an OPTION. If ground transportation is preferred by the patient it is their prerogative and the time difference and comfort in transport would be explained to the patient at that time.
3. Is Air Ambulance services covered by my insurance plan? Many insurance companies do cover air ambulance services, if you have insurance and the flight meets the criteria for being medically necessary. Then it is likely that your insurance will pay the claim that is submitted for the trip. Please note that your insurance may pay the maximum amount allowed and the patient would be responsible for any deductible and a co-pay that may apply.
4. Will First Flight help to determine if my insurance will cover the charges?
Yes, we have staff that will attempt to be a liaison between the patient and your insurance company. They will work to obtain a benefit overview and obtain an authorization as needed. First Flight will file all insurance claims on the patient’s behalf.
5. How do I know the aircraft is safe?
All of the aircraft First Flight uses are governed by using Federal Aviation Administration regulations outlining pilot training, duty time, aircraft operation, and maintenance. First Flight utilizes pilot crews that have been trained annually or an equivalent factory approved, simulator based program and conduct risk assessments for each mission. Maintenance is completed by highly specialized factory trained mechanics. All First Flight Aircraft are designed and equipped for all weather operations using the latest GPS technology, weather detection equipment, terrain avoidance, and traffic avoidance providing an extra margin of safety.
6. When is a Fixed-wing ambulance used instead of a helicopter?
Helicopter air ambulances are generally used for short emergency transports ex: highways, deserts, mountains, isolated areas. When an individual has been taken to a hospital and requires fast, comfortable transportation to another distant hospital a fixed-wing air ambulance would be used. A fixed wing plane allows space for medics to continue with life saving care during the transport process.