Flight Paramedic Career Profile

A Flight Paramedic (FP) is an authorized member who provides pre-hospital medical assistance for injured patients on board an airplane, helicopter or jet. The word paramedic means: "related to medicine in an auxiliary capacity." They are usually employed with any of the emergency medical services firms. Their assistance can be crisis intervention, stabilizing someone who is on the brink of death, transportation of ill or injured patients to trauma care centers or hospitals.

There are many types of paramedics. They are generally grouped together as either primary, intermediate and advanced care paramedic. This distinction depends on the level of assistance they are able to provide. They are given different designations in different organizations, depending on the duties assigned to them. They can be called a multi-care technician, rescue worker, emergency medical technician, emergency medical care dispatcher and so on. In order to become a FP, there are specific sets of examinations, certification and licensing procedures that must be completed.

Daily tasks

FPs normally works with the help of an emergency helicopter crew for transporting the ill or injured patients. The daily work they do includes:

  • Flies with the emergency helicopter crew to the exact emergency call.
  • Asses the severity of injury or illness and aptly provide the trauma care to the victims or patients.
  • Help trapped victims in extricating themselves from their terrible predicament, maintain tremendous communication skills.
  • Aid in the transportation of the ill or injured patients to the emergency medical care centers or hospitals, whichever the case may be.

Educational and Other Requirements

A bachelors' degree in emergency medical services can help to overcome the huge competition that exists with this type of work. However, even one year of training in the emergency medical service arena is sufficient to become eligible. Certification is mandatory in all states. If a FP has obtained instructor certification in basic trauma life support, pre-hospital trauma life support, advanced cardiac life support, and/or pediatric trauma life support, then they are eligible to be employed by their employers and slotted to a higher pay scale.  

This is a stressful position on many occasions; hence, a flight paramedic should have strong emotional control despite the circumstances. They could have multiple patients to pacify, they need to maintain their calm and be able to make quick decisions. They should always project and carry themselves with in a professional manner. They are representing the organization while treating patients in hectic conditions. Total dedication to the position is critically important in saving the life of patients.

Career Advancement and Income

The annual average salary of the flight paramedics is calculated to be between $44,000 and $49,000. Like any other job, the range varies based on the employer, industry, experience and additional perks. If you finish the nursing course as well, then you can be chosen as a Flight Paramedic/Nurse and your salary range bumps upward to be between $65,000 and $82,000 per year.

New entrants to the field are usually absorbed as street paramedics providing emergency care to citizens and transporting them. Their career advancement hugely depends on their ability to cope up with additional duties and management comprehension.