First Flight, Brevard's only air ambulance serving East Central Florida since 1988, is the emergency helicopter transport service of Health First, based at Holmes Regional Medical Center. First Flight is operated by Metro Aviation.
First Flight is among the first responders in medical emergencies and traumas. We serve Brevard, Indian River, and portions Osceola and Orange counties. Once First Flight's communications center receives a call, our communication specialist evaluates the flight request and immediately notifies the flight team. The helicopter is dispatched and en route to the scene within minutes, saving precious moments of the patient's "Golden Hour."
When transporting patients between facilities, the flight team is in the air within minutes of confirming the destination hospital is prepared for the new patient.
The experienced flight crew includes medical personnel with backgrounds in emergency, critical care, flight, and pre-hospital nursing care. Additionally, each registered nurse (RN) is a state-certified paramedic. Many of our RNs and paramedics are also board-certified in emergency, critical care, and flight nursing. First Flight pilots are all military-trained with thousands of flight hours logged flying rescue missions. Our medical directors are board-certified in emergency medicine and is integrally involved in Emergency Medical Services (EMS) education.
In June 2000, First Flight began using an EC-135 twin-turbo engine Eurocopter. The new aircraft is bigger and faster than its predecessor. It's equipped with the latest medical equipment and can accommodate two patients comfortably along with three crewmembers.
First Flight is licensed by the State of Florida Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services to provide both interfacility and prehospital services including:
- Transport up to two trauma patients at a time
- Interfacility transport of adult and pediatric patients
- Specialized transport of cardiac patients, including patients requiring intra-aortic balloon pump therapy.
- Specialized transport of high-risk OB patients
- Coordinate patient transfers between facilities
- Rotor-wing and fixed-wing flight arrangements
- Emergency response to EMS agencies for rapid patient transport
- Educational programs for the community
- Injury prevention and safety programs
- Educating other healthcare professionals
- Specialty physician referral
How to activate First Flight
Trauma Alert Criteria
The state of Florida requires patients meeting certain Trauma Alert Criteria (pdf) be transported to the nearest designated trauma center. EMS personnel may e-mail Trauma@Health-First.org or call 800-541-1928 to receive laminated copies of this criteria.
In addition to transporting emergency patients to regional medical centers, we're also leaders in offering community outreach and education programs, such as:
- EMS presentation - A comprehensive presentation covering safety, operations, preparation of trauma patients, loading patients, and crash recovery.
- Inter-facility presentation - A comprehensive presentation geared toward preparing patients for transfer between hospitals.
- "Prom Night" - Demonstrations coordinated with local EMS, Fire, and Police Departments using the helicopter to demonstrate the effects of alcohol /drug use and driving.
- High school presentation* - Geared towards driving safety, alcohol/drug use and driving, career choices, and education.
- Middle school/junior high presentation* - Geared towards education, career choices, and safety for children age 12 to 15 years old. Topics include seatbelts, bicycle helmets, protective equipment while roller-blading, and airbags.
- Elementary school presentation* - Geared toward safety, including use of seat belts, bicycle helmets, protective equipment while roller-blading, and airbags.
*Denotes crew member presentation only, no helicopter.
For more information
For more information about First Flight and its services, please e-mail us at FirstFlight@Health-First.org or call us at 800-541-1928.