Air Idaho Rescue Brings Emergency Air Medical Service Back to  West Yellowstone 


Program brings lifesaving care to the park for the active summer season 

West Yellowstone, MT, May 3, 2023 – When visitors to Yellowstone National Park and the surrounding area need emergency care, Air Idaho Rescue is ready to answer the call. The base opened for the season today at Yellowstone Airport.  

The need for high-quality air medical care is critical during the warmer season when an average of 8.5 million visitors head to the park from May through September. Air Idaho Rescue brings an AS350 A-Star helicopter, renowned for its performance at high altitudes during hot weather, which is perfect for Yellowstone National Park, Hebgen Basin, and the surrounding areas. It carries a team of industry-leading trauma clinicians, along with the equipment and medications needed to save lives in emergency situations. With blood on board the aircraft, it can be administered to patients in-flight when there is a risk of severe blood loss or hemorrhagic shock resulting from falls, car accidents, or other causes of traumatic injuries.  

“This helicopter is a vital resource for the park and its visitors,” said Mike Jenkins, area manager with Air Methods. “Parts of the park are remote and hard to access, requiring the agility of a medical helicopter. Ensuring visitors get the emergency care they need when every second counts is critical.” 

Air Idaho Rescue is part of Air Methods, the nation’s leading air medical service provider offering critical care and transport in emergency situations, as well as interfacility transport when patients need to move between hospitals for specialized care. All of the Air Idaho Rescue clinicians and pilots have years of experience in the field and receive advanced, ongoing training. Nurses and paramedics have access to Air Methods Ascend, an in-person and online training program that allows clinicians to perform at the top of their licensure. Air Methods Ascend is also available to medical personnel across the country. 

“Hebgen Basin Rural Fire District is happy to have Air Idaho return to our community,” said Carrie Egging, assistant fire chief with Hebgen Basin Rural Fire District. “Air Idaho is a valuable asset not only to Yellowstone National Park, but also the residents of West Yellowstone since we are located a considerable distance away from surrounding hospitals. The time saved by air transport of our critical patients truly does positively impact their outcomes.” 

Air Methods is committed to providing affordable air medical service to all who need it. They are in-network with most major health insurance providers, including Blue Cross Blue Shield, United Healthcare, Aetna, Humana, and many others. Additionally, their patient advocacy program works with all patients, regardless of insurance, to ensure affordability. 

Pre-paid membership is not required with Air Methods. The Federal “No Surprises Act” went into effect on January 1, 2022 and eliminated the need for memberships from any air medical provider. Under this Act, patients are only responsible for the copay, coinsurance, deductible, or maximum out-of-pocket cost outlined in their healthcare plans, regardless of which company handles the transport. In an emergency requiring air medical service, the first available carrier should transport the patient to the hospital and a patient should never delay care while waiting for a particular carrier based on a membership.