Native Air Holds Open House Celebrating One Year of Service


SHOW LOW, AZ, Oct. 31, 2023 – As a “thank you” for the amazing support over the past year, Native Air 18 in Show Low, AZ invited first responders, partners, and requestors to an open house event where guests had the opportunity to enjoy camaraderie and partnership with the Native Air 18 crew.

When Native Air 18 opened one year ago, the base and crew added to the Native Air program, with Native Air 9 already established at Summit Healthcare Regional Medical Center. The additional base opened to provide wider geographical coverage for communities throughout eastern Arizona. The base offers quicker response times for emergent and trauma situations as well as interfacility transports for patients needing to move between hospitals for specialized care.

“Throughout the state, we’ve seen an increased need in air medical service over the past year,” said Flight Nurse and Base Outreach Coordinator Kathy Shannon. “We are grateful to be able to serve the community.”

Not only has the Native Air 18 crew provided life-saving services over the past year, but they have supported the community in many events and activities, such as July Fourth festivities, training with local EMS partners, and assisting requestors whenever called upon.

Native Air is part of Air Methods, the nation’s largest air medical services provider. Native Air 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. Ascend is also available to medical personnel across the country.

“We train regularly for any and all scenarios,” said Flight Paramedic and Clinical Base Lead Scott Hax. “When seconds matter, we have the capabilities and certifications to provide ICU-level service in the air.”

The high-caliber Native Air crew is staffed by four registered nurses, four paramedics, four pilots, and two mechanics. Additionally, both locations operate a Bell 407 aircraft and are equipped with state-of-the-art equipment. With so many rural areas, the skilled crews coupled with advanced equipment provide a fast response and mean all the difference in saving lives.

Air Methods does not sell pre-paid memberships. The Federal “No Surprises Act”, which went into effect in January 2022, 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 care should not be delayed while waiting for a particular carrier based on a membership.