AEL Brings Additional Air Medical Asset to the Oklahoma Region

12.29.2021

The medically configured King Air 90 airplane is jointly operated with Guardian Flight and serves residents in six states.
Air Evac Lifeteam and Guardian Flight, part of the Global Medical Response (GMR) family of companies, today announced the opening of their newest emergency air medical transport base in southeast Oklahoma – the first GMR-operated fixed wing in the state. The base features a King Air 90 airplane, which will be operated and maintained by a Guardian Flight pilot and aviation maintenance technician and staffed with a clinical team comprised of an Air Evac Lifeteam nurse and paramedic. The highly trained and experienced crew is available 24 hours a day for time-critical emergency responses.

The airplane and crew are based out of Idabel, Okla., and can transport patients longer distances at higher speeds when helicopters are unavailable. Justin Kinkade, Senior Program Director for Air Evac Lifeteam, said the new air medical base is an additional resource for citizens in the region.

“The McCurtain County Air Evac Lifeteam fixed wing crew is licensed in Oklahoma, Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana, Kansas, and Iowa,” Kinkade said. “This is a regional asset that gives us another safe option and some increased capabilities when other aircraft may be grounded. The crew can transport infants, pediatric patients and adults, and the airplane is large enough to be able to take a family member with the patient.”

The McCurtain County aircraft and crew are housed at McCurtain County Regional Airport.

“We are thankful for our partners in this endeavor, including Guardian Flight, our surrounding Air Evac bases, the McCurtain County Regional Airport, McCurtain County EMS and McCurtain Memorial Hospital,” he added. “And we are proud to bring more jobs to the area. The new base will have four full-time pilots, four full-time nurses, four full-time paramedics and a full-time aviation maintenance technician.”

Air Evac Lifeteam and Guardian Flight are participating providers in the AirMedCare Network (AMCN), the nation’s largest air medical transport membership program with more than 350 air medical locations across 38 states. Members flown for a life- or limb-threatening injury or illness by an AMCN participating provider have no out-of-pocket costs for the flight. Whatever the member’s insurance – or third-party insurance – pays is considered payment in full. Annual memberships start at $65.