Acadian Air Med, a division of Acadian Ambulance Service, is marking 40 years in operation in 2021. From its early days, Acadian Ambulance’s ground operations worked in tandem with air ambulances. In 1976, Acadian partnered with the U.S.’ Military Assistance to Safety and Traffic (MAST) helicopter ambulance program. The success of MAST led to the launch of Acadian Air Med, in 1981. The program’s first base was established in Lafayette, Louisiana. Today, Air Med operates bases across Louisiana and services much of the state and the Gulf of Mexico.
Establishing Acadian Air Med allowed Acadian to greatly reduce the response time to remote locations and to provide emergency medical response to injured workers offshore. Acadian Air Med is unique in the use of helicopters as a primary response vehicle, launching a helicopter to remote locations or to more serious injuries when specific criteria are met. As a result, they fly more first response medical air missions than any other ambulance service in the country.
In 1983, Acadian Air Med added fixed-wing aircraft to their fleet, allowing for long-distance transport of patients to the most appropriate facility for advanced care. The addition of that aircraft led to the founding of Executive Aircraft Charter Service in 1991.
“We’ve logged millions of miles in the sky and expanded our service area over the past 40 years, but our commitment to our patients and our communities has never changed,” said Acadian Vice President of Air Services Michael Sonnier.
Acadian Air Med received the Igor Sikorsky Humanitarian Award in 2006, presented by Helicopter Association International, in recognition of our response following Hurricane Katrina.
In 2019, Air Med earned accreditation from the prestigious Commission on Accreditation of Medical Transport Systems (CAMTS). The CAMTS accreditation standards address issues of patient care and safety in rotor wing services providing critical care transports. They are periodically revised to reflect the dynamic, changing environment of medical transport with considerable input from all disciplines of the medical profession and serve as a marker of excellence for federal, state and local governmental agencies, as well as private agencies and to the general public.
Acadian Ambulance Service is also accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Ambulance Services (CAAS). That accreditation is achieved through maintaining the absolute highest standards in training, equipment, protocols and patient care.
Acadian is one of the few services in the nation to receive accreditation from both CAMTS and CAAS, the ambulance industry’s leading accreditation agencies.