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AeroMedevac Training

START™ - developed and delivered by AeroMedevac Training

Systems training for aeromedical retrieval teams

Thousands of citizens leave their native country each year, sadly many become ill and injured whilst overseas. When circumstances dictate, it requires a very special team to ensure the safe and timely aeromedical repatriation of that patient to their home country, or to a specialist center of excellence elsewhere for appropriate treatment.

The transport of patients by air presents medical escorts with many challenges unique to this mode of travel. Staff engaged in aeromedical transport must have both a high level of expertise, specialist knowledge, skills, and practical training.

The purpose of START™ is to prepare Healthcare Professionals with the strategic, operational, and clinical training essential to safely and effectively transfer patients by helicopter or fixed wing aircraft.

We provide START™ aeromedical training to a variety of organisations. Typical START™ candidates are qualified emergency medical technicians (EMTs), paramedics, advanced paramedics, nurses and doctors, in addition to operations staff and pilot panel members.

The competencies achieved in this course strive to set the minimum acceptable standards for practitioners working in aeromedical retrieval and transportation internationally.

AeroMedevac is truly a company with a global reputation for working closely with its partners in promoting international best practise for the safe and timely retrieval of critically ill/injured patients. Adrian Murphy, MD, PhD,

Whether your organisation is civilian or military, we will offer a tailored programme whether foundation or specialist levels, to meet your requirements.

Up to 20 delegates participate at any one time and a Faculty of Tutors delivers the programme. International interest has developed for START™ and we are now willing and able to deliver to customer organisations overseas, in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and South America.

About START™

The rationale behind the START® programme is to establish a level of professionalism necessary for the safe and efficient transfer of patients from one hospital setting to another via aeromedical transportation, whether fixed wing or rotary wing platforms.

The transport of patients by air presents medical escorts with many challenges unique to this mode of travel. Staff involved in aeromedical transport must have both a high level of expertise, specialist knowledge and practical training. Staff without appropriate training should not undertake aeromedical transfers. Patient safety is at the forefront of a formal retrieval model.

Who will benefit from START™?

The 3-day START® programme is designed for medical, paramedical, and nursing staff and also for those working in organisations whose duties include the transport of ill and injured by air, for aircrew flying aeromedical missions and air ambulance medical crew.

START™ is evolving to be a network source and not just an introductory training course for beginners. Many experienced doctors, nurses and paramedics who register for the course, have the opportunity to share their own experience, expertise, and knowledge with others in the class.

START™ addresses the special physical, physiological and psychological stresses that are important when flying as well as provide a detailed knowledge of how medical conditions can be affected by this environment and the necessary strategies needed to facilitate safe transfer.

START™ is designed to provide the initial exposure and foundation framework for safe aeromedical retrieval for all age groups with common and specific clinical conditions. It incorporates small group problem-based learning, didactic teaching sessions and practical experience.

START™ will provide the core template for on-going development of clinical skills necessary for critical and non-critical care retrieval. The course includes orientation and familiarisation of the mobile medical equipment, aircraft, and communication systems while framing this against clinical scenario based learning.

START™ will enable participants to gain additional practical and clinical competencies in aeromedical retrieval and transport issues.

START™ is available to organisations requiring bespoke aeromedical training in their own country utilising the organisations aeromedical assets.

START™ advanced training is considering the use of ‘technology enhanced learning’ for aeromedical retrieval teams. Virtual reality, silicon and human simulators will save lives by limiting the adverse effects of invasive procedures and increase practitioners’ competence.

Simulators will enable all healthcare professionals to perfect their clinical techniques and prove their competence in life-like scenarios before carrying out the live procedures on patients.

Principles and aims of START™

START® is designed to provide the initial exposure and foundation framework for safe aeromedical retrieval for all age groups with common and specific clinical conditions.

Day 1: incorporates group learning, didactic teaching sessions and practical experience. START™ will provide the core template for on-going development of clinical skills necessary for critical and non-critical care retrieval.

Tutorials will cover individual susceptible pathologies and the problems of critical care in the air, and will also examine the importance of appropriate equipment, as well as the logistics and organisation of both helicopter and fixed wing operations.

Day 2: includes orientation and familiarisation of mobile medical equipment, aircraft, and communication systems while framing this against clinical scenario based learning. Particular attention will be paid to the problems of treating patients on board, and to the use of medical equipment in aircraft. Aspects of cabin safety, ramp and personal safety will be covered.

START™ Training is supported by the organisations air ambulance assets, whether fixed wing or rotary. For example in Nigeria, a dedicated jet air ambulance with Lifeport, a Cessna Citation Sovereign 680 was available to support the learning. This aircraft had been modified for air ambulance duties with a state of the art dual stretcher system including inbuilt oxygen, suction, air compressor and invertors.

START™: Fixed Wing Air Ambulance Operations

Systems training for aeromedical retrieval teams

Topics covered within the fixed wing START™ programme include:

  • Air ambulance versus evacuation by commercial airliner
  • Clinical considerations
  • Patient evaluation and fitness to fly
  • Altitude physiology
  • Biodynamics
  • Transport logistics & coordination
  • Aeromedical case studies
  • Patient escort on scheduled airlines
  • International air ambulance transport
  • Airline passenger clearance (MEDIF)

Learning Outcomes

START™ is designed to encourage interdisciplinary learning, which extends theoretical study and conceptual learning, into highly relevant aeromedical practice. The competencies provided by the START™ programme will enable participants to gain additional practical and clinical competencies in aeromedical retrieval and transport issues. Participants will:

  • Extend their knowledge in regard to their specific field within aeromedical retrieval and transport.
  • Develop enhanced clinical skills in their specific field within aeromedical retrieval and transport.
  • Be able to interpret and use knowledge relevant to their work from a wide range of sources
  • Be equipped with the necessary critical skills to better evaluate their own performance, and the suitability of service development
  • Continue life-long learning in aeromedical retrieval and transport
  • Be able to apply the principles of best practice to their aeromedical practice.
  • To understand the relevance and necessity of clinical systems, processes, protocols and procedures which support aeromedical transfers

As such, the aim of START™ is to prepare health care professionals in the clinical and logistic skills and procedures essential to safely and effectively transfer patients by helicopter or fixed wing aircraft.


Continuing Professional Development.

START™ is recognised by the Royal College of Surgeons of Ireland (RCSI) for CME points, by An Bord Altranais and by PHECC for CPG. On completion of START®, participants will receive a Certificate of Attendance signed by the Course Director.

Sample certificate for START™ from RCSI

START™: Rotary Wing EMS Operations

Air ambulance operations utilising a rotary platform will differ in many ways to the air ambulance fixed wing operations. This is important to recognise within the Client operational matrix.

Rotary aeromedevac retrieval can be a high-risk operation as we know from many jurisdictions and establishing foundation training and associated systems will benefit the Client organisation in commissioning such services.

With the possibility of undertaking 3 to 4 emergency tasking’s per day, the Air Ambulance Operator will wish to ensure appropriate standards, systems and training are in place.

The air retrieval members of the AeroMedevac START™ Faculty have day to day first hand experience undertaking HEMS retrievals on a rotary platform.

There are a number of subjects from an aviation perspective to be considered for by the Air Ambulance Operator as it engages in rotary winged HEMS (helicopter emergency medical service) operations.

Depending on the scope of the operation, we develop a tailored package taking account of where any existing training sits in the planning process and the level of experience of its personnel.

Outlined below are subject areas, which would constitute the Rotary START™ programme for HEMS.

1) Logistics
a) Communications, Mapping and Flight Following Hardware and Software in HEMS
b) Creating an ad-hoc Landing Site (for ground crew)
c) HEMS Base: Required equipment / Desired equipment
d) Creating and Maintaining an LZ Database in HEMS

2) Operations
Detailed programme on request

3) Supervision
a) Training and Tracking Pilot Proficiency
b) Training and Tracking non-Pilot Aircrew Proficiency
c) The Importance of Clinical-Aviation Liaison

4) Flight Safety
a) The 'Just' Culture
b) The Role of the Aviation Regulator in HEMS
c) Establishing and nurturing a healthy Flight Safety Culture in HEMS
d) Anatomy of a rotary HEMS Crash: Lessons Learned
e) Foreign Object Debris in rotary HEMS

5) Crew Resource Management
Detailed programme on request

START™ programmes are designed with the Client to specify and agree an appropriate syllabus tailored to the Customer Organisation’s requirements.

“START™, developed and delivered by AeroMedevac Training”

Contact us

For more information on START™: please email the attached START™ Aeromedical Training Inquiry Form to: training@aeromedevac.ie

START™ Aeromedical Training Inquiry Form

Or send it online here