LifeFlight / About Us / The LifeFlight Advantage

The LifeFlight Advantage

Vanderbilt LifeFlight has transported more than 40,000 patients to hospitals in Nashville and destinations around the world. It provides service via nine helicopters (eight bases and one helicopter serves as backup), one fixed wing aircraft (airplane) and nine gound ambulances. It has kept an accident-free safety record since its inception in 1984.

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 all Nashville hospitals 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. 

Crew aboard a LifeFlight helicopterOur helicopters carry either a nurse/MD, nurse/nurse or a nurse/critical care paramedic team. 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, pericardiocentesis and femoral line insertion are taught. LifeFlight training does not include the use of animals, and utilizes state-of-the-art computer 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
Jeremy Brywczynski, M.D. standing next to a LifeFlight HelicopterLifeFlight 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.

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.