Part of a flight medic team, this specialized paramedic will function in a aeromedical environment. Flight Paramedics usually have years of training and practicing. They entered into a specifically dedicated training program and many are also paramedic trainers. Their clinical experience acquired throughout the years can’t be denied and they usually worked into various fields or circumstances.
Flight Paramedics mostly use helicopters or small planes as transport methods.
Most times, Flight Paramedics are required under particular circumstances: a hardly reachable home, a rescue mission in mountains, deserts or seas, a tourists venture that turn into a catastrophe, big events, etc. Geographical or meteorological difficulties are often implied. This is why it demands a lot of experience and nerve.
Flight medics can also work with a mobile response unit outside of the hospital setting, while some are linked to an hospital, working in the Emergency Room or other locations. But that is until they are needed on a flight! They provide on-site emergency medical care to patients suffering from severe injury, trauma, or sickness. Like any other paramedic, they are responsible for diagnosing their patients conditions and providing proper medical support.
Certain states may offer this specialization, but most programs will be given by private EMS schools. For flight paramedic training, a well-known company is BCCTPC. A Paramedic Certification is needed prior to this program. A regular EMT can’t become a Flight Medic without it.
Note that the Military Service also offers jobs and training for flight paramedic.
Flight Medics can work for an hospital, a state or a city, the military force but also and mostly for private companies. These companies often offer their services to families in need of very quick emergency response: a family member with particular health condition or a house located far from an hospital.
All the reasons stated above (certifications, experience, responsibilities, circumstances and hired by private companies) explain why Flight Medics benefit from higher wages. In the United States, salary varies from $37,000 to around $65,000 per year (according to Payscale).