August 22, 2016
Acadian Ambulance Service was founded in Lafayette, Louisiana on September 1, 1971, with two ambulances and eight medics. A decade later, Acadian’s service area spanned 14 South Louisiana parishes whose geography included small towns, metro areas, coastal marshes, rural areas, and offshore platforms. With many areas hard to reach by ground ambulance, the need arose for air access, and greater response speed and mobility.
To overcome these challenges, Acadian Ambulance founded Acadian Air Med with one medically configured helicopter.
Today, Air Med operates a fleet of nine medically configured helicopters and five fixed-wing aircraft from six base stations, strategically located throughout South Louisiana. The Air Med staff includes 71 critical care registered nurses, nationally registered flight paramedics, pilots, mechanics and Air Med operational control flight-following specialists.
“From the start, we have been committed to providing the best possible patient care and customer service,” said Richard Zuschlag, Acadian Founder, Chairman & CEO. “As our service area expanded into more rural areas, we recognized that our citizens would be better served by adding air medical transportation. As our company celebrates our 45th year, and Air Med celebrates their 35th year, I’m proud that Acadian enjoys a reputation as a leader in medical transportation.”
Today, Air Med can transport patients across the state in 45 minutes or less. In their fixed-wing aircraft, medical transports can be made across the country.
In addition to faster response times, Air Med allows Acadian Ambulance to quickly reach emergencies in the Gulf of Mexico. They operate the ONE GULF Emergency Call Center, coordinating emergency medical response to the offshore oil & gas industry. The call center provides self-help over the phone and works hand-in-hand with the Louisiana Emergency Response Network to organize transportation.
“Air Med was established in 1981 to fill a vital need in our communities and quickly became a key part of our life-saving mission,” said Vice President of Air Services Erroll Babineaux, who joined the company in 1974 and established air operations with a Bell 206L1 single-engine helicopter air ambulance.
Acadian Ambulance now has more than 500 ground ambulances and more than 4,200 employee-owners.
Acadian Ambulance is one of the largest ambulance services in the nation, offering emergency and non-emergency transportation to areas in Louisiana, Texas, and Mississippi.