Episode 3: Piloting Air Ambulances with Bernie Copeland

00:00 / 00:38:42

Getting to the right medical facility in time can save your life, and sometimes the distance is too great for ground vehicles to get the job done. When that happens, a ride in an air ambulance can be a lifesaving trip. Today’s guest knows firsthand how vital those flights can be.

Bernie Copeland is a flight paramedic who has been flying for the last 12 years. He’s got 30 years of medical experience under his belt. In addition to being an accomplished flight paramedic, Bernie is a veteran and a Harley owner. Listen to the episode to hear what Bernie has to say about how he ended up in the medical field, how he’s seen his industry change over the last 12 years, and what a day in his job is life.

Topics Discussed in Today’s Episode:

  • How Bernie got into the medical field
  • How Bernie ended up piloting air ambulances
  • Why Bernie wanted to fly
  • What air ambulances are like
  • The areas that Bernie covers in the air ambulance
  • The different classifications of trauma centers that Bernie works with
  • What a typical day in Bernie’s job looks like
  • The types of medical professionals that work in medical flights
  • The training involved for nurses and paramedics that work in medical flights
  • The type of personality that it takes to be an air ambulance medical professional
  • The hardest part of Bernie’s job, and how he handles difficult cases
  • Bernie’s advice to military personnel who are looking to transition to Bernie’s line of work
  • Resources that Bernie recommends for people who are looking to transition from the military to the civilian medical field
  • Where Bernie sees his industry going over the next 10 to 20 years
  • How the technology is changing
  • Bernie’s favorite tool that he uses in his job
  • What Bernie wishes he’d known before he started in this line of work
  • The aircraft that Bernie flies in most often
  • Stories from Bernie’s job
  • Shortages in the medical flight field

Links and Resources:

Bernie Copeland

Air Evac LifeTeam

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