Native Air Earns Medical Transport Accreditation


Omniflight, which does business as Native Air in Payson, has earned accreditation for medical transports at all 15 of its Arizona bases.

Native Air operates an air medical helicopter in cooperation with Payson Regional Medical Center. The aircraft and crews are based on the hospital campus.


Omniflight, which operates as Native Air Payson, has 13 employees in the Rim Country. Omniflight recently earned medical transport accreditation.

They provide emergent critical care transportation to residents and visitors who require a higher level of care and rapid transportation to specialty care medical centers in other parts of Arizona, predominantly Phoenix, company officials said.

The Commission on Accreditation of Medical Transport Systems has accredited Native Air and other Omniflight Helicopters operations in Arizona.

Native Air in Payson flies 35-45 missions per month. The Payson base utilizes night vision goggles, meaning they use technology that allows pilots and medical crew to see in the total darkness.

"Because the crews spend so much time together it is more like family than co-workers," said Susan Lewis, of Omniflight.

The crew responds to medical emergencies and trauma victims generally within a 75-mile radius from Payson as well as transporting critically ill patients from the Payson hospital to tertiary hospitals in Phoenix, Lewis said.

The medical crews receive special training that allows them to provide advanced treatment and procedures normally done by physicians at hospitals.

This, in conjunction with rapid air transport, has greatly increased patients' survivability, she said.

The helicopter is stationed at the Payson hospital and crews reside in a house nearby while they are on call. They can be in the air within 10 minutes.

The regional manager for Payson is Cary Heath. Native Air has 13 employees in Payson: the clinical base manager and flight nurse, Mark Runzo, RN; three other flight nurses, Bryan Ross, James Heskett and Steve Smith; four flight paramedics, Brian Osbonlighter, Jason Petecca, Mike Ward and Robert Foster; the aviation base manager Sean Rorke, who is also a pilot; three other pilots, Keith Yamamoto, Paul Koubeck and Steve Delgado; and a field base mechanic, Larry Bardowicks.

The Commission on Accreditation of Medical Transport Systems is a governing body focused on improving the quality of patient care and safety of the transport environment for those entities providing rotor wing, fixed wing and ground transport systems and services.
Omniflight's Arizona accreditation, which marks its third, became effective in November 2007 and will extend over a three-year period.

For the past six years, the Omniflight Arizona bases have achieved this accreditation and operate with this well-regarded recognition.

"This important accreditation further validates the fact that Omniflight's top priority is to maintain and promote the highest levels of service and standards in safety, clinical care, training and quality assurance in the industry.

"Since our founding more than 40 years ago, we have continued to bring a strong commitment to safety and patient care to our business and all the missions we fly.

"Our nationwide reach, capabilities and the resulting expertise we've garnered serve as evidence of this commitment.f the 700 air medical services companies operating in the U.S. today, only 300 share this prestigious accreditation.

"We are honored to be among those bearing the accreditation title from the CAMTS," noted Lee McCammon, vice president-Western Region for Omniflight.
"With this honor, we also acknowledge the dedication of and efforts put forth by all of our employees for their unrelenting devotion to safety, quality medical care and service, which they dutifully provide each and every day to Omniflight's clients and patients.

"Now, this has been further recognized by the industry's leading accrediting body, and for that, we are extremely proud," McCammon concluded.

The Omniflight helicopter and airplane bases covered under the accreditation include those in Mesa, Chandler, Casa Grande, Buckeye, Lake Havasu, Prescott, Prescott Valley, Show Low, Payson, Globe, Kearny and Deer Valley.n addition, the company's western regional offices are based in Mesa.

The Commission on Accre-ditation of Medical Transport Systems ( is dedicated to assisting professionals involved with air medical services and ground interfacility transport services in their quest to provide the highest possible quality to their constituents in offering a quality service.
The Commission offers a program of voluntary evaluation of compliance with accreditation standards that demonstrates the ability to deliver service of a specific quality and believes that the two highest priorities ofn air medical or ground interfacility transport service are patient care and safety of the transport environment.

By participating in the voluntary accreditation process, services organizations can verify their adherence to quality accreditation standards to themselves, their peers, medical professionals and the general public.

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