Follow @AirMedicalNet on Twitter

Glossary of Air Ambulance Terms and Definitions

Air Medical HelicopterTerminology used when discussing air medical operations can seem daunting to those unfamiliar with the industry (and even those who have been in the industry need an occasional refresher course). With the frequent usage of both esoteric aviation and medical terms and acronyms, air medical talk can seem like it is mostly jargon.

Whether you are a patient or family member looking into air medical transportation, or have been part of an air ambulance organization for some time, this list of definitions for some of the most common aeromedical terms and acronyms you are likely to come across may be a useful reference tool.

Air Medical Glossary of Terms

aeromedical:

Referring to the use of specially-equipped aircraft for medical purposes, such as transporting patients to and from hospitals or transporting organs for transplantation.

air ambulance:

A high-tech aircraft staffed with medical personnel, used for transporting patients quickly and comfortably. Also used to transport medical cargo, such as organs or equipment.

AMN:

Acronym for Air Medical Net.

ATC:

Air Traffic Control

bedside-to-bedside:

Term used to describe “full service” air medical transportation from the patient’s current location to the patient’s destination (or from bed to bed) without necessitating the need for alternate transportation after disembarking the air ambulance.

CDC:

Centers for Disease Control (US)

CFL:

Cleared Flight Level. Refers to the flight level in which the aircraft is cleared to obtain.

CFR:

Code of Federal Regulations

CAMTS:

Commission on Accreditation of Medical Transport Systems

EMS:

Emergency Medical Services

EMT:

Emergency Medical Technician

FAA:

Federal Aviation Administration. An agency of the U.S. Department of Transportation that serves as the national aviation authority / regulator in the United States.

FAR:

Federal Aviation Regulation

Fenestron:

A tail rotor of a helicopter that is completely shrouded by a housing in the fin, similar to a ducted fan on an airship or VTOL aircraft. Being integrated into the fin gives Fenestrons additional protection against accidental damage compared to conventional tail rotors. Also known as a fantail.

fixed-wing:

An aircraft with stationary wings, such as a propeller plane or jet plane. In the air medical world, fixed-wing aircraft are generally used to transport patients over long distances in both emergency or non-emergency situations.

FOC:

Flight Operations Center

GOM:

General Operations Manual

Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS):

Worldwide position, velocity and time determination system that uses one or more satellite constellations.

Global Positioning System (GPS):

Satellite-based radio navigation system.

HAZMAT:

Hazardous Materials

JAA:

Joint Aviation Authority

JAR-OPS:

Rules and regulations of the Joint Aviation Authority.

medevac:

Abbreviation for medical evacuation.

medical personnel:

People with medical training who may provide medical care during a flight.

MEL:

Minimum Equipment List

NAVSTAR:

Global Positioning System operated by the United States Department of Defense.

respiratory therapist:

On an air medical crew, a respiratory therapist provides specialized care and treatment of acute and chronic breathing disorders during the flight.

rotary-wing:

An aircraft with moving wings or blades. Generally refers to a helicopter. In the air medical world, rotor-wing aircraft are generally used to quickly transport patients short distances in emergency situations.

ORM:

Other Regulated Materials

PIC:

Pilot in Command

RVSM:

Reduced Vertical Separation Minimum

SIC:

Second-in-Command

TCAS:

Traffic Collision Avoidance System

turboprop:

Relating to modern fixed-wing aircraft that use efficient, high-performance turbine engines to power propellers, rather than jet engines. Often used in air ambulances and other small commuter planes.

WHO:

World Health Organization

Back to Air Medical Net