The LifeFlight Advantage

Vanderbilt LifeFlight has transported more than 45,000 patients since it began in 1984. It provides service via nine helicopters (eight bases and one helicopter serves as backup), one fixed wing aircraft (airplane) and 14 ground ambulances. It has kept an accident-free safety record since its inception in 1984. LifeFlight will transport a patient to any medically appropriate hospital.

All air operations are provided by Air Methods Corporation. All medical services are provided by Vanderbilt University Medical Center. 

Vanderbilt LifeFlight is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Medical Trauma Systems (CAMTS). LifeFlight transports to any medically appropriate hospital and has immediate access to the region's only Level I Trauma Center, Burn Center and Children's Hospital, all at Vanderbilt.

LifeFlight is a key part of a trauma system that includes pre-hospital care, definitive care, rehabilitation and injury prevention. 

No Membership Required
Vanderbilt LifeFlight is part of the Air Methods nationwide family, and does not require a membership to utilize its services. LifeFlight will transport to any medically appropriate hospital. You can read more about Air Methods and why "no membership is required" here.

Our helicopters carry either a nurse/MD, nurse practitioner/CCP, nurse/nurse or a nurse/critical care paramedic team. More than 25% of the LifeFlight Staff are credentialed as a physician or nurse practitioner. All RN helicopter crew members are dual licensed with both RN and EMT-P or EMT multi-state licenses. Continuing education and continuous quality improvement are required for flight crew members.

Many LifeFlight crew members offer safety and/or clinical classes for EMS and other medical communities. Classes may also be customized to the needs of your particular organization.

Other strengths:

  • LifeFlight nurses have an average of 10 years of experience in emergency and/or critical care.
  • LifeFlight training covers all clinical areas of care including the adult and pediatric emergency department, Coronary Care Unit, Trauma Center, Burn Center, Neuro ICU, Pediatric ICU, emergency obstetrics and respiratory care.
  • LifeFlight training includes a quarterly surgical skills lab where invasive procedures such as chest tube placement, cricothryroidotomy, and pericardiocentesis are taught. LifeFlight training does not include the use of animals, and utilizes state-of-the-art High Fidelity simulation labs and cadavers to keep staff highly trained.
  • LifeFlight carries life-saving blood products on every flight.
  • Staff and physicians meet regularly to ensure patient care meets or exceeds national standards.

Medical Control
LifeFlight has access to 24/7 on-line medical control. LifeFlight's medical director is Jeremy Brywczynski. Also on staff are physicians from Emergency Medicine, Anesthesiology, Toxicology and Pediatric Critical Care. LifeFlight nurses practice under nationally established protocols for care of the critically ill and injured pediatric and adult patients. The flight crew is linked directly with receiving physicians by phone or radio at any time.

A nurse practitioner is a master (MSN) or doctorate (DNP) prepared nurse, and has specialized training and knowledge to make medical decisions that registered nurses may not have the training or experience to make. They must be board certified, and often are able to act as their own “medical control” — meaning they can prescribe their own medication and treatments independently.

CAMTS accreditation

Vanderbilt LifeFlight is a CAMTS (Commission on Accreditation of Medical Transport Systems) accredited organization. CAMTS is the only accreditation agency to offer worldwide standards for ground, helicopter and fixed wing medical transport systems.

CAMTS is similar to the strict standards and assessment of hospitals by the Joint Commission of Accredited Healthcare Organizations. CAMTS also offers transport programs a vehicle to demonstrate high performance in the areas of quality and safety.

Vanderbilt LifeFlight is the first flight program in TN to obtain CAMTS accreditation. LifeFlight joins a select group of just over 100 programs around the world that have attained accreditation.

For more information regarding CAMTS and accreditation go to or

Adapted from the CAMTS and AAMS websites.