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Emergency air medical service back in West Yellowstone thanks to Air Idaho Rescue

Air Methods Press Release | April 19, 2024

Estimated reading time 4 minutes, 56 seconds.

Air Idaho Rescue once again opened its seasonal air medical base at Yellowstone Airport on April 16, 2024, providing emergency transport to park guests and people in the surrounding area. 

During peak season from May through September, an average of 8.5 million visitors come to Yellowstone National Park.

When these people suffer from heart attacks, strokes, or injuries sustained while hiking, biking, horseback riding, and other outdoor activities enjoyed in and around the park, they need high-quality air medical care. 

“Since parts of the park are so remote, people depend on this helicopter to reach those locations that may not be otherwise accessible,” said Mike Jenkins, area manager with Air Methods. “Visitors rely on this vital resource in emergencies when every second counts.” 

Air Idaho Rescue’s H125 helicopter is renowned for its performance at high altitudes and in hot weather, making it perfect for Yellowstone National Park, Hebgen Basin, and the surrounding areas.

It carries a team of industry-leading trauma clinicians, along with the equipment and medications needed to save lives in emergency situations. With whole blood on board the aircraft, it can be administered to patients in-flight when there is a risk of severe blood loss or hemorrhagic shock resulting from falls, car accidents, or other causes of traumatic injuries.  

“Bozeman Health is pleased that Air Idaho will be serving the West Yellowstone community,” said Dr. Anna Carl, physician and medical director of the Big Sky Medical Center Emergency Department. “Their critical care capabilities are crucial and their proximity to our hospital makes them an invaluable partner in providing life-saving emergency care.”  

Air Idaho Rescue is part of Air Methods, the air medical service provider offering critical care and transport in emergency situations, as well as interfacility transport when patients need to move between hospitals for specialized care.

All Air Idaho Rescue clinicians and pilots have years of experience in the field and receive advanced, ongoing training. Nurses and paramedics have access to Air Methods Ascend, an in-person and online training program that allows clinicians to perform at the top of their licensure. Air Methods Ascend is also available to medical personnel across the country. 

“We’re excited to have Air Idaho Rescue (AIR 3) back in our area,” said Brenda Dye, A-EMT with Fremont County EMS. “They are amazing to work with and having a critical care crew close by is extremely helpful.” 

Air Methods is committed to providing affordable air medical service to all who need it. They are in-network with most major health insurance providers, including Blue Cross Blue Shield, United Healthcare, Aetna, Humana, and many others.

Additionally, their patient advocacy program works with all patients, regardless of insurance or where they may be visiting from, to ensure affordability. 

Pre-paid membership is not necessary with Air Methods. The Federal “No Surprises Act” went into effect on January 1, 2022, and eliminated the need for memberships from any air medical provider.

Under this Act, patients are only responsible for the copay, coinsurance, deductible, or maximum out-of-pocket cost outlined in their healthcare plans, regardless of which company handles the transport.

In an emergency requiring air medical service, the first available carrier should transport the patient to the hospital and a patient should never delay care while waiting for a particular carrier based on a membership.  

This press release was prepared and distributed by Air Methods.

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