WHATS THE PATH TO AIR MEDIC

Dustoff707

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Do your best to stand out. I’ve seen Army flight medics right out of the Army get hired by air ambulance services who have very little civilian experience. If you interview well, know your stuff and have some interesting stuff to put on your resume as well as 911 experience you will do well. Oh, get your FP-C before applying, it shows that you are serious. I’m still active army and plan to stay that way for awhile yet, but I have friends in Texas and Colorado that work for flight for life and San Antonio Airlife.
 

Dustoff707

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Since it was brought up here by the way, I have current information and know those at the Army flight medic schoolhouse for those that are interested. Going Guard as a flight medic isn’t as hard as you would think if you are a Paramedic.
 

Dustoff707

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I know of plenty of flight medics that suck at swimming lol! Yeah, it’s not exactly entry level and highly depends on how you want to go about it. Our whole pipeline is also changing, from 2012 until last year training was contracted through UTHSCSA in San Antonio now it’s all internal at Fort Sam Houston taught by military and contracted employees. Anyway active duty soldiers submit a form 4187 requesting the school and generally reenlist with the school as an option. The school is a pipeline with 3 phases and not everyone goes to all of them anymore. I won’t get into them all unless someone asks for the information but pretty much phase 1 is paramedic, phase 2 is a critical care course and then you test for FP-C and the final phase is Fort Rucker which is just the Army aviation side of things.

National Guard is a bit different but if you want it you can pretty much go street to NG flight medic. If you have your Paramedic the National Guard will send you to the critical care course and Fort Rucker. You’ll get your FP-C out of it and a ton of critical care knowledge well beyond that of Paramedic. You’ll interview for the flight medic position in the National Guard and depending on the state it will be easy or extremely difficult. I’ll tell you right now that the NG unit in southern Georgia is hurting for flight medics so if you want to live in southern Georgia (Savannah) you’re in luck lol.

CCCSD is right, it can be competitive but if you’re already a Paramedic working 911 you should be good if can meet the requirements of the Army like flight physical and height / weight / physical fitness. Most Army medevac units are not going to come close to the competitiveness of civilian HEMS.
 

FiremanMike

EMS Coordinator
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When not deployed, what does a military flight medic do? Are there areas of the country served by these crews?
 

StCEMT

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I've thought about seeing what there is for flight spots in the local Guard units before. Wouldn't be much I'd have to do. Haven't sat for the FP-C, but I've already got the training and am one of my agencies CCT medics.
 

Peak

ED/Prehospital Registered Nurse
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When not deployed, what does a military flight medic do? Are there areas of the country served by these crews?
It depends, but generally speaking military medics cannot offer care to civilians including dependents. In most cases this is both because of antitrust issues with the surrounding civilian groups and that most military medics practice at a far higher level than they are actually certified for in the civilian world.

There are some exceptions to this, for example there are some flights that cannot be made by civilian HEMS due to equipment limitations so the US army does a response once in a while. Here it is typically due to the rescue being at a high altitude on a warm day.

Most military installations that have an EMS service resultingly run it with DOD civilians or contract it out. Programs like the the institute of surgical research burn flight team is staffed by nurses and APPs, with any military medics servicing a very limited tech role assisting the team.

Some medics will work in a hospital or clinic when stateside, with a much larger scope if caring for service members than dependents or other civilians. Some are attached to units and basically do some sick call but otherwise essentially don't practice. The day to day work for a lot of line personnel includes a lot of PT, some training, and a lot of essentially menial labor.
 

Remi

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The best way to prepare yourself for HEMS is to become the very best ground paramedic you can be. This will take focus and humility and hard work and time.

As someone else said, you are realistically years away from being in a position where you can even consider applying for HEMS positions, so while it’s OK to keep it in mind as a long term goal, the best thing you can do right now is to not obsess about flying and focus on learning to be a good paramedic.
 
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Dustoff707

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When not deployed, what does a military flight medic do? Are there areas of the country served by these crews?
So yeah, it largely depends on where you are stationed. Fort Bliss in West Texas gets a decent amount of calls and has a crew on station 24/7. They do hoist missions rescues throughout west Texas and medevacs if the civilian life flights turn down the mission. On post in their training area they are responsible for thousands of square mileage. At Fort Hood in central Texas we sit around and play stupid Army games. Fort Rucker’s medevac in Alabama is a direct backup to all HEMS agencies in the area both if they are busy or if they are down for weather, from what I understand they stay decently busy as well. These are all active duty units, National Guard of course does whatever their state wants them to do.
 

Dustoff707

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It depends, but generally speaking military medics cannot offer care to civilians including dependents. In most cases this is both because of antitrust issues with the surrounding civilian groups and that most military medics practice at a far higher level than they are actually certified for in the civilian world.

Most military installations that have an EMS service resultingly run it with DOD civilians or contract it out. Programs like the the institute of surgical research burn flight team is staffed by nurses and APPs, with any military medics servicing a very limited tech role assisting the team.

Some medics will work in a hospital or clinic when stateside, with a much larger scope if caring for service members than dependents or other civilians. Some are attached to units and basically do some sick call but otherwise essentially don't practice. The day to day work for a lot of line personnel includes a lot of PT, some training, and a lot of essentially menial labor.
All of your statements are spot on. I’d just add a few things.

Communities are slowing coming around to, specifically, utilizing Army flight medics for assistance due to the fact that with the Paramedic and critical care training our guidelines are fairly in line with what other HEMS agencies can do. Our scope isn’t really that far ahead anymore, finger thoracostomies and pericardiocentesis might be the only thing you find in our protocols that are a bit much, everything else is pretty standard stuff and you’d be hard pressed to find a flight medic comfortable l, or who has ever even attempted, pericardiocentesis.

Flight Medics can work on these on post ambulances alongside their civilian counterparts and treat civilians and service members alike utilizing the DoD ambulance’s protocols. We’re about to start doing this again on Fort Hood, we get some experience and they get an additional Paramedic in the back of their ambulances for no additional cost.

Medics overall are not treated all that seriously in the Army until someone needs them. Army training is focused on accomplishing the mission overall, not on specific skillsets to include TCCC and medical training. It’s slightly better in the medevac with some commanders allowing us to work our part-time jobs off post during the week when nothing is happening. I feel bad for the line medics though.
 

Kavsuvb

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Since I served with a Coastie who was a FF Paramedic who transferred to the Army Reserve as an Air Medic, I am qualified to make that statement as I have direct knowledge of the difficult process he went through, including the requirements.

You are an AUXILIARY member, who volunteers to help out the Gold Side in a limited capacity. You have not served in the CG, so your knowledge level of input is limited.

Please be careful about speaking of things that you only know about by watching YouTube videos. Spreading bad googe is not helping anyone, nor does it serve to create a professional aura. I am not the only one who has mentioned this.
More and more Coast Guard Sector's are having to rely more and more on the Auxiliary to backfill many roles including SAR, Air patrols and even standing watch at Stations and Sectors. For example, in Sector Long Island Sound where I work out of, the Auxiliary Runs SAR cases and when Summer boating Season hits, The Auxiliary are the ones that mans the SARDET Station at Fishers Island and Block Island. During the winter, we assist with Ice breaking operations by providing reports on Ice flows for the black hull cutters.

You seem to forget that the Auxiliary can do everything that the US Coast Guard Commandant allows except for Law enforcement and Military operations. That means being a Boat crew member on a SAR mission to Marine Safety & environmental protection, radio watch standing Food Service, Medical Support, Clergy, Engineering support to even Foreign Language interpretation. For example, I know a few Auxiliarist who are Boat crew and cutterman qualified to deploy on cutters such as the USCG Barque Eagle. I know one who works with the USCGC Bollard.

Nowadays in the US Coast Guard, many Sectors often times relies on the Auxiliary because of Local knowledge and the fact that in the Active Duty, there is a turn over and the Auxiliary has local AOR knowledge that the Active duty often relies on. Here's an example;

In fact, a good example is we had one US Coast Guard Auxiliarist deployed to Bahrain. Article below
 
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Jim37F

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Hawaii National Guard MEDEVAC units occasionally support civilian air evacs through the MAST program (Military Assistance to Safety and Traffic) as we dont really have much in the way of air ambulances here. (There is fixed wing programs to evacuate patients from the outer islands to Oahu to the main trauma center) (generally helicopter rescues are Little Bird style sling loading patients from the mountains or ocean to a waiting ground ambulance).


Not that article is dated 2006. MAST has been intermittent and even on hold last few years due to military deployments and other commitments.

But when available, yeah we'll have military Blackhawks pick up regular 911 patients for evac for critical patients that are far enough away from the specialty centers in town. Though like I said, currently it's not available, we haven't had any MAST transports in the 2½ years that I've been here so far.
 

CCCSD

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I miss MAST in our AO. Used to work quite a few CASEVACS with them. Got my SAR Crew Chief cert in Hueys. Now it’s all civilian HEMS.
 

MackTheKnife

BSN, RN-BC, NREMT, EMT-P, CEN, TCRN
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That's true, but understand that Pararescue is special forces which is astronomically difficult to attain. It's not really a realistic path for the overwhelming majority of us.
Yes. 2 year training pipeline which is 4 times longer than BUD/S for SEAL wannabes. However, majority of attrition in PJ training is failing NRP, which if you were to go that route, you'd have a definite leg up if you were already a PM.
 

Tigger

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There are some exceptions to this, for example there are some flights that cannot be made by civilian HEMS due to equipment limitations so the US army does a response once in a while. Here it is typically due to the rescue being at a high altitude on a warm day.
Most of the time EMS care is still provided by local ground folks or civilian HEMS riding in the military aircraft. They also rarely transport and prefer to meet civilian HEMS or ground ambulance.
 
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