Guardian Flight Mobilizes Air Crews to Aid COVID-19 Response


More than 50 air medical crews have been mobilized to aid the Four-Corners region and Navajo Nation.
(SOUTH JORDAN, Utah) — Guardian Flight has mobilized 13 of its air ambulances and more than 50 air crews in the Four Corners region as the demand for emergency air medical transport increases as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Since late March, we have seen a rise in request volume from the Four Corners region as a result of COVID-19," said Joaquin Graham, Regional Director for Global Medical Response. "We recognize that there is capacity within our organization and our fleet to mobilize assets and teams from areas not as severely impacted as the Four Corners. We are incredibly proud to be able to bring in additional aircraft and crews to help care for our communities during this difficult time."

Graham added that while they have brought in additional help, this mobilization in no way impacts Guardian's ability to provide needed service in the other areas it operates.

Guardian has repositioned two different aircraft and crews to its base in Gallup, New Mexico – a King Air C90 from Wyoming with nine crew members, and Pilatus PC-12 from Minnesota with six crew members. The added teams are working in conjunction with 11 other crews and aircraft to support emergency air medical transports throughout Arizona, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, and the Navajo Nation.

Leaders from Guardian Flight and its parent company, Global Medical Response, are working closely with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and departments of public health around the country. Each flight request is evaluated based on current CDC guidelines and stringent safety practices, and every air medical crew utilizes personal protective equipment (PPE), regardless of the type of transport. Guardian's teams also complete full decontamination of the aircraft following the completion of every flight.

All of Guardian's crew members, including those working in the Four Corners, are being closely monitored by Global Medical Response.

Monitoring includes the following:
  • Evaluation of each crew member, which includes symptom and temperature checks every 12 hours
  • GMR's online infectious disease screening platform (GMR's MAST – Medical Assessment and Screening Tool)
  • 24/7-staffed Nurse Navigation and Physician team to assess, screen and monitor employees who have been in contact with COVID-19 positive or presumptive patients
  • Phone calls and check-ins to GMR crews or personnel who have been quarantined or are self-isolating

Graham said that the mobilized teams would remain on-site in Gallup until month’s end, but that can change as the situation evolves. The crews will stay in the area as long as needed.