Aero Medical Evacuation (AMEC)


The AME Course is designed for Nurses, Paramedics, ESOs, EMTs, LandSAR personnel,  Doctors, medical students and Emergency Response Teams who are working or intend to work in or around an air ambulance or rescue helicopter. This is predominantly a practical introductory course that covers; aviation physiology, medical and rescue equipment, aircraft familiarisation, patient preparation and packaging, hot stretcher loading, winch techniques, Safely working within the helicopter,  exiting the aircraft on uneven ground, hover loading, and live winching (not NZ courses) Fixed wing stretcher systems The course has been designed to meet the requirements of the Aviation Industry of New Zealand (AIANZ) and Ambulance New Zealand Standards for training of flight medical crew.

Instructors include retrieval physicians, search and rescue crewmen, pilots, and intensive care flight paramedics with an extensive background in aeromedical retrieval and air rescue. The course holds recognition for CME/CPD points with ACEM, RNZCGP, ACRRM (Grants available for fellows), Paramedics Australasia, Australasian College of Paramedicine.

The course is made up a series of classes and practical workshops and is run over two days (Saturday and Sunday) Typically a Helicopter Underwater Escape Training day (HUET) is held the following day for students wishing to complete this also. (QLD Courses)



As the focus is of establishing practical skills and familiarisation with equipment and typical procedures, there are no pre requisites however students should ideally have a clinical background to a first responder level.


This course is designed to provide an introduction to basic practical skills required for medical crew to work in and around helicopters safely. The training focuses on aspects often ignored during formal medical, nursing and paramedic education. This course does not give the student the qualifications required to work as medical crew on an air ambulance which also requires the appropriate tertiary qualifications and clinical experience suited to the role and defined by individual aeromedical organisations. However some organisations have recognised this training as a minimum requirement to work in flight paramedic roles offshore.


Example timetable

Day 1  

0720 Welcome and introductions,

0730 Principals of flight.

0815 Key Concepts on safety and helicopter use.     Analysis of rescue attempts and look at the strategies employed.

0900 Overview of rescue winch techniques  

0930 helicopter familiarisation and safety brief  

10:45 Station one : Common Medical equipment used in Air Ambulance   Rescue Medical Packs, and PPE   Helmets,   Switlik (and contents)   EPIRBs

11:30 Station two : ground training for winching   Harnesses and hook,   hover load,   stretcher and tag line

12:15 Station three : Patient Loading  

13:00 Transfer to Flight Area

14:00 Lifesaver helicopter Stretcher and Tag Line Demonstration

14:30 Station four : Patient packaging – SKED / Split Baskets  

15:15 Station Five : Patient Packaging – SPLINTS  

16:00 Station Six : Flights (+/-Winching)   Hover loading,   Flight  

1645 Finish 


0920 welcome and introduction

0930 Principles of pre hospital care and overview of aeromedical retrieval

1015 Clinical aviation physiology


1130 Trauma overview (EMST / ATLS principles)

1230 In-flight care

1330 LUNCH

1430 fixed wing air ambulance systems and logistics

 1500 Lifeport Stretcher System