Air Care Team

Orlando Regional Medical Center's (ORMC) Air Care Team Takes Flight

The ORMC Air Care Team began operations on October 13, 1984 and completed their first scene flight and patient flight on November 17, 1984, which involved two patients from Florida's Turnpike in Osceola County. Since then, the Air Care Team has flown more than 27,000 patients with more than 1.7 million accident-free rescue mission miles. This includes nearly 5,000 patients originating from Osceola County alone. The Air Care Team plays a significant role in ORMC's trauma and critical care services by responding quickly and providing definitive care within the "golden hour" - the first hour after a traumatic injury occurs. Seriously injured patients have a 15-20 percent higher chance of survival if they receive care at a trauma center within the golden hour. ORMC saw 4,200 trauma patients in 2005, making Central Florida's only Level One Trauma Center one of the most comprehensive trauma centers in the state.

ORMC's Air Care Team Response Continues after Transport

The Air Care Team treats each patient with efficiency and compassion. We know that no one plans for these traumatic events, so we want our patients to get back to the highest quality of life possible. We facilitate an organized, multidisciplinary response system that helps patients return to their prior level of function and interaction within society. This continuum of care includes injury prevention, EMS and medical oversight of pre-hospital care, appropriate triage and transport, resuscitation and emergency care, surgical intervention, intensive and general acute care, rehabilitative services, behavioral health, social services, community re-integration plans and medical care follow-up.

The Emergency Transfer Center at ORMC

The Emergency Transfer Center at ORMC facilitates physician to physician referrals for patients that require emergency evaluation and/or admission into one of our hospitals. With the many unique specialties that are offered at Orlando Regional Medical Center, Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children, Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women & Babies and Orlando Health Cancer Institute, the Emergency Transfer Center is a central point of contact for outside hospitals to call and expedite the patient's arrival to the best care possible.

The center connects the referring physician to the specialist needed on a recorded line. We will then work with bed placement to get the patient admitted to the hospital, which reduces the amount of work required by the referring facility so they can concentrate on the patient's care until transport arrives.

The Emergency Transfer Center is located inside the Air Care Team Communications Center, which also enables simultaneous dispatch of a helicopter for critically ill patients while admission arrangements are finalized. The center is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

If you are a patient or a family member and want to arrange transfer, please have your physician contact the Emergency Transfer Center. Calls must be from physician to physician in order to be initiated. This lets the center make sure that accurate and up-to-date information is given. ORMC also has nurse case managers available during regular business hours for non-emergency transfer requests to our facilities. These case managers screen necessity of transfer, arrange for a receiving physician and make sure a bed is available at the appropriate facility. They also make sure the patient will not be negatively impacted financially by their health insurance provider for going to a non-preferred facility. All calls are recorded.

ORMC's Air Care Team Are Stewards in the Community

ORMC's Air Care Team has an average of 20 years experience. Even under stressful flight circumstances, excellent clinical care and safety are the standards for our Air Care Team. The Air Care Team is recognized for its role in public and regulatory advocacy for the improvement of trauma care at the local and national levels. They have memberships and active participation in such organizations as the Association of Air Medical Services, Air and Surface Nurses Transport Association, and the International.

Flight Paramedics Association are an important aspect of our mission. The Air Care Team presents "EMS Nite Out" every two months for emergency department and EMS personnel in Central Florida where 50-120 professionals attend. Discussion topics are usually trauma related and last two hours.

Some of the recent topics were:

  • Snake Bites and Envenomations
  • Aircraft Down - Immediate Post-incident Response by EMS
  • Confirming Your Suspicions, Radiology for Emergency Medical Providers
  • Anatomy of a Traffic Homicide
  • Advanced Trauma Life Support for the Injured Astronaut

The Air Care Team participates and leads team tours for schools, churches and civic groups, field training with EMS providers, community events and injury prevention programs. Our flight observation program provides the opportunity for our partners in the EMS community, emergency departments, and EMS\nursing\medical students to fly with our team. We recognize the importance of educating our colleagues on the role and impact of medical air transport in Central Florida.

Affiliation with Omniflight Helicopters, Inc.

Omniflight has been a leader in providing air medical transportation service to the healthcare industry for more than 20 years. Omniflight provides the aviation services to Orlando Regional Medical Center's Air Care Team. On board, the Air Care Team provides all the necessary medical staff. This relationship between Omniflight and Orlando Regional began in 1984 and continues today.

Air Care Facts

  • The Air Care Team was the first to have:
    • a twin engine helicopter in Florida (1984)
    • a program in the nation with hospital rooftop fueling (1984)
    • a program in the nation to navigate with GPS (1990)
    • an intra-aortic balloon pump transport (1992)
  • The only hospital-based scene responder in Central Florida
  • Flies an average of 80 missions a month
  • Missions comprise 61 percent to scenes and 39 percent to interfacility transfers
  • Specialized Neonatal Flight Team, under the direction of a board-certified neonatologist, fly premature and medically fragile newborns to our Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women & Babies
  • The total patients transported as of 10/31/212 is 27,361 with a total of 1,724,317 miles flown.  We have flownn accident free for the past 25 years
  • Flight nurses and flight paramedics have an average of 20 years of experience
  • Our affiliation with Omniflight provides aviation services to the Air Care Team - their senior aviators have an average of 7,000 flight hours experience
  • Our Communications Center, which is located at ORMC, enables simultaneous dispatch of a helicopter for critically ill patients.
  • ORMC coordinates air medical operations and transfers from other facilities 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
  • On site refueling at ORMC reduces turnaround times
  • Air Care 1 opened on 10/13/1984 and is located at the Kissimmee Airport
  • Air Care 2 opened on 11/26/2006 and is located at South Lake Hospital
  • Air Care 3 opened on 09/15/2008 and is located at South Seminole Hospital