Clinton, Miss. — The National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians (NAEMT) board of directors has approved a position statement on air medical transport safety.

NAEMT is very concerned about and wanted to address the unacceptable and increasing rate of accidents, injuries and deaths occurring in the air medical transportation industry. Since 2000, many scientific papers and reports — published by agencies and organizations such as the U.S. Government Accountability Office, National Transportation Safety Board, Annals of Emergency Medicine, Congressional Research Service and the Air Medical Physicians Association — have identified numerous air medical safety issues and have recommended solutions. However, none of these solutions have been implemented to date by either the federal government or the industry.

NAEMT strongly supports the development and enforcement of evidence-based, mission appropriate safety standards for air medical transportation that enhance the safety of both patients and crew members.

The association recommends that the federal government bring together all stakeholder groups to reach a consensus on these standards and incorporate them into federal regulation, and should work with states to ensure the full enforcement of all air medical transport regulation. NAEMT also recommends that through their EMS offices, state governments have regulatory authority over the medical and EMS systems components of air medical transport. The association also supports research and development of evidence- based protocols that would determine when air or ground medical transport would best serve the needs of patients.

New NAEMT position statement on air medical transport safety, add 1 For the full position statement and other NAEMT position statements, please visit http://www.naemt.org/advocacy/naemt_positions.aspx.

Formed in 1975 and today more than 25,000 members strong, NAEMT is the nation’s only organization solely dedicated to representing the professional interests of EMS practitioners, including paramedics, emergency medical technicians, first responders and other professionals working in pre-hospital emergency medicine. NAEMT members work in all sectors of EMS, including government service agencies, fire departments, hospital-based ambulance services, private companies, industrial and special operations settings, and in the military.