Emergency transport services provided by University of Mississippi Medical Center include two helicopters. AirCare transports adult, pediatric and neonatal patients from anywhere in the state to any healthcare facility in Mississippi while providing specialized emergency and intensive care.
AirCare is the only medical emergency transport service that:
- Responds statewide.
- Is IFR certified—helicopters and pilots are trained and equipped to fly in marginal weather conditions.
- Has flight nurses and paramedics employed and trained by Mississippi's only Academic Medical Center.
- Carries emergency blood products and portable ultrasound for critical and emergency care.
- AirCare helicopter flights began in Jackson, at UMMC, in 1996.
- The medical emergency transportation service expanded to Meridian with a second helicopter in 2009.
- Since it began, AirCare has transported more than 16,000 patients over 2 million miles.
The AirCare Team
Medical flight crews, easily identified by their blue jumpsuits, include dedicated flight nurses and flight paramedics. Crews work closely with UMMC's adult and pediatric emergency medicine, critical care and neonatal services.
- All flight nurses hold at least one specialty distinction such as Certified Emergency Nurse (CEN), Certified Flight Nurse (CFRN) or Certification for Adult, Pediatric and Neonatal Critical Care (CCRN).
- Flight nurses and paramedics have more than 20 years of combined emergency medical, adult and pediatric ICU, and emergency department experience.
- The medical crew holds additional qualifications, including certified flight paramedic and certified neonatal-pediatric transport, and works closely with the UMMC Newborn Transport Team.
The AirCare Fleet
AirCare helicopters are equipped to transport patients quickly, safely and comfortably. The American Eurocopter EC145 is a civilian variant of the U.S. Army Lakota (UH-72A) and has a cruising speed of 165 mph. The American Eurocopter EC135 has a cruising speed of 150 mph.
Each AirCare helicopter is:
- Operated under Single Pilot Instrument Flight Rules (IFR).
- Capable of moving up to two patients and a medical team at a time.
- Equipped with autopilot, color weather radar, anti-collision systems and night vision goggles.
- Instrument rated, allowing the aircraft to fly in almost any weather.
- Equipped to handle most emergency medical or intensive care situations.
- Equipped with full heating and air conditioning.
Flight requests and aircraft communications are the responsibility of Mississippi MedCom. In addition to assisting AirCare flights, MedCom serves the needs of emergency responders and healthcare providers statewide, during routine operations and in support of disasters or mass casualty incidents. MedCom is staffed 24/7 with experienced paramedics and emergency medical technicians.
Read More About AirCare
Helicopter safety tips
- Do not approach the landing zone while the helicopter is landing or departing.
- Approach the helicopter from the front or side.
- If the helicopter lands on a hill, never approach from the uphill side.
- Do not wear hats around the running aircraft.
- Never walk under the tail of the helicopter.
- No smoking within 100 feet of the aircraft.
- Never shine bright lights or headlights at the aircraft during landing or liftoff.
- No ambulances or other vehicles are permitted within 50 feet of the aircraft.