To receive training to become an air ambulance pilot, students must first obtain a commercial pilot's license and have an instrument rating. Prospective air ambulance pilots and air ambulance crew members should also possess experience working in emergency care on the ground. An emergency medical worker with ample experience and qualifications may apply to an air ambulance training program, such as Priority 1 Air Rescue or Summit Air Ambulance.Continue Reading
In addition to having a commercial pilot's license, those wishing to fly air ambulances must accrue at least 1,000 hours of flight experience and be able to fly in low-visibility conditions using instruments. Air ambulance crews must be highly trained and adept at medical care before applying to an air training program. Many programs only consider applicants with at least two or more years of emergency medical care experience. Those with a military medical background or emergency room experience are good candidates, as are those with prior experience as firefighters, EMTs or police officers. Applicants must also be state-licensed medical care providers and should have the physical fitness necessary for the rigorous demands of air ambulance work, including the strength to load and unload patients from aircraft.
Priority 1 Air Rescue provides medical transport training for experienced pilots. The organization also prepares medical professionals to transition from working on the ground to caring for patients in an aircraft. The program includes rescue simulations in which crews and medical personnel train in remote locations, such as offshore platforms. Summit Air Ambulance recruits and trains experienced nurses and paramedics for its flight crews. Flight paramedic trainees are required to have at least five years of experience, an undergraduate degree and several specializations, including advanced cardiac life support.Learn more about Career Aspirations