camts blog

Commission on Accreditation of Medical Transport Systems





At the Westin Hotel Charlotte, NC  in the QUEENS Meeting Room




This half day class will review the process, polices and Standards of CAMTS and provide excellent information for both programs seeking accreditation for the first time or for those approach a reaccreditation.  Learn about the more common areas cited as deficiencies and ask questions directly with the CAMTS Executive Director.

Register by visiting the CAMTS website at

There is a cost for this conference and each person receives a copy of the current 10th Edition Standards.

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1:00 to 2:00 PM  CAMTS Standards Committee

Each year at the Air Medical Transport Conference, the CAMTS Standard Committee meets to hear your comments and suggestions for improving the Standards. All are welcome. Please contact us through the CAMTS web site at you plan to attend.

*2:00 – 4:00 PM   


Streamlining the Reaccreditation Process

This session will focus on your suggestions for streamlining the CAMTS reaccreditation process.  We encourage all site surveyors, Board members, member organizations, aviation and medical operators and accredited programs to participate in guiding us to a process that makes reaccreditation less labor intensive and more consistent for programs and for CAMTS, while assuring substantial compliance with the Standards.

The session is FREE and no registration is required.

Each accredited program will receive a survey by email within a few days regarding the reaccreditation process – please take a few moments to fill this out and send it in so that we have a starting point for our  discussions and so that we have your input if you cannot make the meeting!



Interpretation Guidelines of the CAMTS Standards….
Issue: # 001
Date: July 22, 2016
Reference: 10th Edition Standards

Fire Extinguishers
It has come to our attention that the following standard has been interpreted to mean that the fire extinguishers in the Bell 407 and Agusta aircraft, for example, must be moved, or another fire extinguisher must be placed in the medical crew quarters. The standard, however, speaks to accessibility as follows:

“02.03.07 Safety and Environment
2. Equipment and Operations Around the Transport Vehicle
l. A fire extinguisher must be accessible to medical transport personnel and vehicle operator while in motion.”

The purpose of the standard is to assist in extinguishing a fire on board in the event the pilot is incapacitated or otherwise occupied. The problem is fire extinguishers are understandably designed to be within the pilot’s reach and are considered part of aircraft as listed on the certificate. Adding another fire extinguisher is not possible without getting either an STC or a FAA field approval (337). The CAMTS Board of Directors understands this and does not base an accreditation decision on this type of compliance issue with one specific standard. It may be and remain an outlier to the standard but in terms of interpreting this standard – Site Surveyors should be asking crew members how they would reach the fire extinguisher during flight in an emergency situation. If it is possible – even though it may not be readily accessible – it meets the standard.
If it is not at all possible, it may remain an outlier without negatively impacting accreditation. Remember accreditation is based on substantial compliance with the standards – not 100% compliance.


CAMTS EU Introduces Site Surveyors

CAMTS EU graduates its first class of Site Surveyors.  CAMTS conducted a three-day class for applicants to site surveyor positions for CAMTS EU in Zurich July 11-13.  Applicants were chosen for their expertise and experience, and all are currently employed by medical transport services outside of North America.

The CAMTS Board of Directors also met in Zurich, July 14-16 and welcomed the new site surveyors, who attended the first day of Board meetings.

During this time frame, the CAMTS EU Board of Directors held its first on-sight Board meeting since registering in Zurich in November of 2015. Currently, the CAMTS EU Board consists of: Stefan Becker, Chair, representing the European HEMS & Air Ambulance Committee (EHAC), Dr. Stephen Hancock, representing Air Medical Physicians Association (AMPA), and Dr. Vincent Feuillie, representing Aerospace Medical Association (AsMA). There are two CAMTS board members from the U.S. serving on the CAMTS EU Board: Jon Gryniuk, representing International Association of Flight and Critical Care Paramedics (IAFCCP)  and Ashley Smith, representing National Air Transport Association (NATA).



In the picture from left to right – David Quayle, Clinical Services Manager for Air Alliance MedFlight UK; Stefan Becker, Chair of CAMTS EU Board of Directors; Dr. Alberto  Piacentini, Flying Doctor for S.Anna Hospital in Como, Italy; Dudley Smith, Assoc. Executive Director of CAMTS; Eileen Frazer, Executive Director;  Dr. Fatemah Rajah, Consultant for Embrace, Infant and Childrens Transport in the UK and Dr. Anyarit Sangcharaswichai, Medical Director for Bangkok Dusit Medical Services, PLC.

CAMTS lost a valuable friend & leader

CAMTS lost a valuable friend and leader yesterday. Ralph N. Rogers, MD, died after a courageous battle with an illness. Ralph was only 64 years old, leaving behind the people and the work he loved.

Ralph - Seattle July '15

Dr. Ralph Rogers and daughter, Madison

Ralph spent more than 25 years as a board-certified emergency physician at Spectrum Health in Grand Rapids, Michigan. His legacy includes initiatives in critical care, trauma and pain management. Ralph’s ability to clearly and succinctly provide situational analysis positively impacted physician and advanced practice provider engagement, clinical service lines, regional hospital clinical integration and the development and success of CAMTS.

Ralph spent the last 20 years on the CAMTS Board of Directors representing ACEP. He was the Chair of the Board since year 2000, re-elected unanimously by the Board every 2 years. Ralph was a major contributor to the success of CAMTS, setting the tone for our commitment to excellence in patient care and safety during transport. His ability to build consensus among 22 Board members, each with their own perspective, was a gift we cannot easily replace. Our thoughts and prayers are with Karen and his 4 children who were at his bedside when he passed. Madison, the 13 year-old youngest daughter, was a frequent visitor and spectator at Board meetings, sitting quietly with her books and crayons and interfacing with us during breaks. Karen was a member of the CAMTS Board as the NFNA representative from its inception and she was our Quality and Site Survey Coordinator for many years. CAMTS was actually the conduit for Karen and Ralph to meet and marry and they are like family to all of us.

The entire CAMTS Board sends their thoughts and prayers to the Rogers family and we will gather to celebrate his life along with many hospital peers, family and friends on June 23rd in Grand Rapids.

 Celebration of Life

Following Ralph’s wishes, the family will host a “Celebration of Life”

Thursday, June 23, 2016 from 12pm to 4pm at

Frederick Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park in the Grand Ballroom

1000 E. Beltline Ave. NE, Grand Rapids, MI

Please wear colorful spring/summer colors. NO black allowed.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made

“In Memory of Ralph N. Rogers, MD” to:

David’s House Ministries, 2390 Banner Dr. SW, Wyoming, MI 49509

or Spectrum Health Foundation: Aero Med Fund, 100 N Michigan St NE, MC004

Grand Rapids, MI 49503

Here is a link to Ralph’s obituary if you would like to learn more about our CAMTS Emeritus Chairman of the Board  Dr. Ralph Rogers



Salute to Excellence



Airbus Helicopters Golden Hour Award

Eileen Frazer: Eileen Frazer is the executive director of the Commission on Accreditation of Medical Transport Systems (CAMTS) — an organization dedicated to improving the safety of both air- and ground-based medical transportation, which she both founded and has led for the past 25 years.

In the mid-1980s, Frazer was an emergency room nurse and chaired the safety committee of what is now the Association of Air Medical Services. The committee drafted criteria for peer review safety audits to address a growing number of air ambulance accidents. But Frazer and the committee felt the audits should be performed by an independent organization. So in 1988 and 1989, Frazer did a feasibility study, modelling her proposed organization on the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Health-Care Organizations, which accredits hospitals.

Today, there are 184 CAMTS-accredited air ambulance programs in six countries around the world. CAMTS completes, on average, 75 new or reaccreditation applications every year and processes approximately 100 progress reports as operations correct deficiencies found during audits.


The CAMTS organization is proud of Eileen’s dedication and accomplishments.  This award is so well deserved for her passion for improving patient safety and the air medical industry.


Crash Resistant Fuel Systems

In keeping with CAMT’s values of imposing standards to improve patient care and safety of transport, the 11th Edition of the CAMTS Standards will encourage all helicopters to have a Crash Resistant Fuel System (CRFS) that meet the crashworthiness requirements of 14 Code of Federal Regulations 27.952 or 29.952.

As an industry dedicated to continuously improving the level of safety for those that we transport, it is essential that we begin the process of incorporating the highest level of safety technology in the aircraft we operate. Incorporation of Crash Resistant Fuel Systems (CRFS) is a significant financial investment of a relatively simple technology that may have a profound impact on the patients we transport. Because of the significant financial impact of this requirement, it is strongly encouraged that any future helicopter introduced into service, whether purchased, leased or contracted, by a CAMTS program or vendor have a crashworthy fuel system meeting the requirements of 14 Code of Federal Regulations 27.952 or 29.952. As manufacturers make retrofit kits available, we should also begin the process of financial planning to retrofit existing helicopters.


In recent years, there have been incidents of thermal fatalities due to post-crash fires in survivable accidents. In 1970, the U.S. Army required CRFS on all newly manufactured helicopters and began an extensive retrofit of all existing helicopters. The International Helicopter Safety Team’s Year 2000 report recommended “The use of helicopters with a CRFS should be encouraged and a requirement on contracted efforts.”  More recently, the National Transportation Safety Board recommended the FAA Require, for all newly manufactured rotorcraft regardless of the design’s original certification date, that the fuel systems meet the crashworthiness requirements of 14 Code of Federal Regulations 27.952 or 29.952, “Fuel System Crash Resistance.”.


This proposed future revision of the CAMTS Standards was unanimously approved by the CAMTS Aviation & Safety Advisory Committee, comprised of industry safety experts including non-CAMTS Board members, and was approved by the CAMTS Board of Directors.


The Holiday Rush

We are in the Holiday Season and you can feel it every time you leave home – more traffic- longer waiting lines and more stress. This only adds more risk to our profession this time of year.  Medical transport crews are already over worked, fatigued and under time-related pressure to do the best for their patients and their families.

There have been 2 fatal helicopter crashes within the past 10 days. This is distressing but unfortunately not surprising.  In 2009, there was a crash on Christmas Day.  In 2010, there were 4 crashes in December.  In 2011, there were 2 December crashes and in 2012 there were 3 December crashes – one on Christmas Eve.

Remember your overall responsibility is to get back home safe to your loved ones.  Do not make this a Holiday to remember with regret and sadness.  If you see something – say something. If you are uncomfortable – speak up.  Get proper rest and be aware of signs of stress and fatigue in yourself and your teammates.  Let’s end 2015 without any further tragedy.

Eileen Frazer, Executive Director

Terry Palmer, CAMTS Board Member


There’s a few seats left in the Pre-AMTC Workshops


“Doing the Right Things Better”

 Building a Solid Foundation through

Quality, Utilization and Safety Management


Sunday, October 18

On board the Queen Mary in Long Beach, CA

8:00 AM—12 noon ($75.00)

1. Discuss the principles and practical applications of:
        a. Quality Management
        b. Utilization Management
        c. Safety Management
2. Understand the interrelationships between Quality, Utilization and Safety Management
3. Apply lessons-learned in developing a model culture
a. Introduction and Importance of Quality, Utilization and Safety Management
b. Practical Applications of
        Quality Management (Patti)
        Utilization Management (Dudley)
        Safety Management (Patti)
c. The Interrelationship Between Quality, Utilization and Safety Management
d. Case Studies
e. Developing a Model Culture of Improvement

“Preparing for Accreditation”

Applying for accreditation & reaccreditation using the

10th Edition Standards

Receive a copy of the new standards


Sunday, October 18

 On board the Queen Mary in Long Beach, CA

8:00 AM—12:00 noon ($75.00)

1. Describe the procedure and eligibility requirements to apply for CAMTS accreditation.
2. List the member organizations and structure of the CAMTS Board of Directors.
3. Describe the application materials: Demographics, Standards Compliance Tool, Attachments and Safety Culture Survey
4. Discuss the Policies governing the accreditation process and decisions
5. Discuss the major differences and changes in the 10th Edition Accreditation Standards
6. Describe the site visit – interviews and tours to be included.
7. Discuss the most frequently cited deficiencies in meeting compliance with the accreditation standards along with medical protocol reviews.
8. List the possible accreditation actions and decisions.
a. CAMTS overview, challenges and future direction
b. Application process and materials
        Digital PIF – demographics and statistics
        Standards Compliance Tool and Attachments
        Critical Elements of medical protocols
        Safety Culture Survey
c. Policies governing the accreditation process
d. 10th Edition Accreditation Standards – differences between 9th and 10th Editions
e. Site survey process
        Interviews and Tours
        Opening and closing 
Courses are on board the Queen Mary in Long Beach, CA

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Register Now:

Announcing Pre-AMTC Workshops 

Sunday October 18

8:00 AM – 12:00 noon

Quality, Utilization and Safety Management – Building a Solid Foundation

How to apply QM, UM, & SM into a Model Culture of Improvement


8:00 AM – 12:00 noon

Preparing for Accreditation

Applying for accreditation & re-accreditation using the 10th Edition Standards

Receive a copy of the 10th Edition Standards

These workshops will be on board the Queen Mary in Long Beach, CA


Registration is now open

CAMTS is proud to announce that 4 new services were accredited at the June meeting:

Air Reach in Mullins, SC, a RW service operated by Med-Trans

Collier County Helicopter Operations, MedFlight, in Naples FL. This is a public service rotor wing service

Mercy Air Service in Sioux City Iowa, a RW service operated by Med-Trans

Medical Wings, Siam Land Flying , a FW service operating Out of Bangkok, Thailand


There are now 8 CAMTS accredited international services. Medical Wings is the first Asian service to achieve CAMTS accreditation.  Collier County is the second public service to achieve CAMTS.

Congratulations to these newly accredited services.