Nonprofit air ambulance service provides emergency transport and medical care for South Texas.

On Father’s Day 2000, just outside Kingsville, Texas, Darrell Nordeen was involved in a terrible car accident that nearly took his life. Corpus Christi, Texas–based HALO-Flight immediately responded to the scene and airlifted him to a trauma center. Nordeen underwent several months of intensive care and rehab before he was released. After another year of recovery, he was able to return to work.

As a nonprofit helicopter air ambulance service, HALO-Flight provides transport for critically ill and injured people requiring medical or trauma care within South Texas, regardless of their ability to pay. Nordeen, recognizing he was still alive due in no small part to HALO-Flight, joined the organization’s board in 2001 to give back and increase support for his community. In this role, he has been instrumental in helping the organization expand its services.

Homegrown Service
HALO-Flight launched its air ambulance service in 1987 to provide the fastest, safest emergency air transportation and medical care for residents and visitors in South Texas. The organization was founded by a small group of concerned citizens, physicians, and civic groups who recognized the demand for the much-needed operation.

Before HALO-Flight, patients were transported by ground ambulance to local hospitals and the regional trauma center in Corpus Christi, often resulting in tragic delays. Today, local hospitals, including Driscoll Children’s Hospital, rely on HALO-Flight to transport patients by helicopter throughout its service area 24/7/365.

All the organization’s transports are staffed by specially trained flight nurses and flight paramedics and are outfitted with the latest in emergency medical equipment. Medical flight crew members are required to obtain and maintain currency in several advanced medical certifications.

Service Logistics and Payment
HALO-Flight’s services, conducted on Bell 407 and Bell 429 aircraft, are used only at the request of emergency medical services providers or physicians, with almost half of the responses launched to on-scene incidents. One-third of HALO-Flight’s transports are from rural, community hospitals to definitive care facilities in Corpus Christi, San Antonio, and Houston, Texas. Other trips include those in response to people needing cardiac, respiratory, neurological, surgical, burn, environmental, and high-risk obstetrics care.

HALO-Flight offers a membership plan that provides debt forgiveness for patient bills. Memberships are available for households, businesses, and ranches. Given that helicopter air ambulance transport costs can exceed $20,000, HALO-Flight’s Guardian Membership plan was designed to decrease out-of-pocket expenses. Members with insurance have no out-of-pocket expenses, while those without insurance receive a 50% bill reduction. Membership cost is as low as $60 a year for households, which covers dependents not living within the household, such as children away in college.

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Jen Boyer

Jen Boyer

Jen Boyer is the principal of her own firm, Flying Penguin Communications. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and holds commercial, instrument, flight instructor, and instrument instructor ratings in helicopters and a private rating in airplanes. She has worked as a professional journalist and marketing communicator in the aviation industry since the early 1990s.