Frequently Asked Questions
Lifeguard Aereomed is an honest family run business. We believe in transparency and are happy to answer any medical flight questions you may have. Below are the most frequent questions we receive.
Why is your company called Lifeguard Aeromed?
Lifeguard is the international signal to air traffic control that there is a patient on-board the aircraft. This can often result in better routing when the airplane is in controlled airspace. If you are in the Citation with a patient you will hear the pilots use the call sign, “Lifeguard 837MA”.
Can I bring luggage, and how much?
This is one of the most common medical flight questions we receive. Yes, space can be restrictive because of the advanced medical equipment we have onboard. Usually 2 soft medium bags work well. Please call for individual needs.
Can a family member or friend travel with the patient?
Yes, in most cases, there is room for one or two persons depending on the aircraft and patient condition. Staffing the patient’s needs is our first consideration.
What if I don’t need ground ambulances?
If the patient does not require a ground ambulance, or other arrangements have been made, simply advise dispatch. Lifeguard will adjust the flight accordingly.
What is a ‘135 Certificate’?
This certificate is issued by the FAA, and allows the company to fly as an Air Carrier. This is required to fly persons legally, just like an airline. It reflects that the proper aircraft, training, maintenance, and operations are done.
I have heard I can save money with a ‘backhaul’, what is it?
Yes and No, a backhaul is when a patient flight connects with another flight back. By sharing the expenses, both patients save on the costs. However, it is similar to Standby on airline flights. The timing of the two flights must agree, and if either flight is delayed for any reason, both flights fail. If a backhaul is practical, the program manager will review and discuss it with you prior to your flight.
Is this company a broker?
No, a broker is typically a liaison between an actual family, hospital, or insurance company that contracts a trip to an actual air ambulance company. Lifeguard Aeromed is the actual air ambulance company, which owns and staffs its own airplanes. A broker will increase the price of the trip based on their referral. By coming to Lifeguard directly, you cut out the intermediary, and our price is the actual cost of the trip.
Is there any additional cost?
Lifeguard can cover an array of services. The price that will be given to you is based on the individual needs and services of the patient. When calling for a quote, Lifeguard will give you the final price with no additional cost.
What kind of medical will be aboard?
This also reflects the needs of the patient. Lifeguard has an eclectic variety of staffing, from doctors, nurses, respiratory therapists, and paramedics. We will meet the request of the hospital, insurance company, or family members.
Do we have to go through any type of security prior to launching in the aircraft?
No, through established guidelines general aviation takes routine precautions. The patients are not subject to a search. Pilots are trained and have their own defensive measures on board, while having tactics to abide by their own protocols.
Is there a cancellation fee?
This question depends on the time of cancellation. Short notice cancellations do have a variable cost.
Do the planes fly through severe weather?
Part 135 operations have set standards of operation for weather. The pilots are highly trained and capable of flying through weather, and will never allow anyone’s safety to be put into jeopardy.
Can pets be brought onboard the airplane?
It depends. At Lifeguard Aeromed, we have transported birds, cats, dogs, and reptiles that accompany the patient. The animals are typically smaller to adequately fit in the airplane and must be confined to a crate. Ultimately, we do not want anything to jeopardize getting in the way of the medical team or to compromise patient care.
What is the best way to check what airplane we are flying in?
Please, as a customer, do yourself a favor and get multiple quotes from different companies. Always ask specific questions in terms of what airplane you will be flying in. Examples of questions to ask, “What is the tail number (or N-number) of the airplane”, “what kind of twin engine airplane will you be flying in”, “what is the approximate speed and time in route”. If you hear that you will be flying in a “twin-engine”, that answer is too vague. There is significant variabilities in twin engines and your experience as a customer.
Once you have the tail number (or N-number), go to www.flightaware.com, submit the tail number at the top of the screen and click track. You can verify who the airplane is registered to, what type of airplane is being flown, and a activity log of recent trips.