What is an Army Flight Medic and what should you know about it? For the rest of this post, I want to educate you about what flight medics do, how to become one, and share some of the benefits of serving in this duty position.
The Flight Medic is an additional skills identifier (F6) for Soldiers already serving as Combat Medics (68W). I like to think of them as an EMT, similar to someone who works in a ground ambulance. The major difference is that they do their job in a helicopter or fixed wing aircraft.
Army flight medics are part of medevac (medical evacuation) operations. These operations use helicopters as air ambulances, transporting injured soldiers to medical centers where they can get further treatment. Although helicopters were used in this manner in the 1940s, the medevac program was officially established in the 1960s during operations in Southeast Asia. In Vietnam, the 57th Medical Detachment was the first medevac unit — its name, “DUSTOFF,” arose from its radio call signal. ~ How Stuff Works
Flight medics are typically assigned to an Air Ambulance Company and they work closely with the pilots, doctors and medical professionals. To keep things simple they are responsible for taking care of their patients from the time they “receive them” until they get them to their final destination, normally an Army Hospital.
Flight Medics are NOT doctors, but they are highly trained medical personnel. They can evaluate casualties, treat wounds, perform CPR, do IV’s, and many other routine and advanced medical tasks.
Army Flight Medic Duties & Job Description
Here is a list of tasks that you might perform while serving in this job.
- Provide post flight patient assessment and documentation
- Loading and unloading patients
- Provide in flight monitoring of patients
- Responsible for pre-flight patient assessment
- Evacuate wounded Soldiers or casualties to higher level of treatment
- Get patients and casualties off of the battlefield
- Provide medical assistance to critically injured or ill
Army Flight Medic School and Training
To serve in this career field, you must first serve as a 68W (Combat Medic) for minimum one year. After completing one year in that MOS, you must pass a flight physical and have 24 months left remaining in your enlistment to be eligible to go to Flight Medic School. The school itself is at Fort Rucker, Alabama and is four weeks long.
Benefits of Working as an Army Flight Medic
There are many benefits that come with working as an Army Flight Medic. First and foremost, you get to fly on a regular basis. For anyone who loves flying in helicopters or fixed wing aircraft, and helping people at the same time, this would be a great career choice. You don’t have to spend every day doing the same thing at the same location. Every day is an adventure!
In addition, you round out your medical experience, which can give you opportunities for career advancement. You can also get lots of experience in combat, peacetime and humanitarian missions. You have and in demand MOS and ASI (additional skills identifier) that can take you anywhere in the world.
Finally, you get real world training that can benefit you after you leave the military. There is a high demand for flight medics with different public and private sector agencies. Finding a job or career after military life shouldn’t be that hard to do.
During the flight, the flight medic and flight nurse must continue emergency medical treatment, if necessary. Medications may be administered, for instance, or a portable defibrillator may be used to restart the patient’s heart. Oxygen may also be given during a medevac flight. Flight medics will also usually calm and reassure a patient during a flight as well. ~ WiseGeek
Although you can’t enlist in the Army as a Flight Medic, I think this is a great career field for anyone who wants to fly in a helicopter or fixed wing aircraft. It’s tough, challenging, and a lot of hard work. You will deal with just about every type of injury or wound imaginable. It’s not for the weak or faint at heart, but if you’re looking for a challenging and rewarding career, this might be just what you are looking for.
What are your thoughts? If you’ve ever served as an Army Flight Medic before, I would love to hear from you. Please leave a comment below to tell us what you liked and disliked about your job. Share your story. I look forward to hearing from you.
*** If any of this information is inaccurate or has changed, leave a comment below to let me know so I can fix it. Thank you.