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When life-threatening illness or injury strikes, every second counts. Emergency transport from Avera’s rapid and reliable Careflight services may be critical to survival and recovery.

Rapid Emergency Air Transportation

In a region with a large, widely-scattered rural population, rapid emergency air transport is essential. Careflight brings this state-of-the-art technology to people throughout the region from its base locations in Sioux Falls and Aberdeen.

We’re ready to respond 24/7 with:

  • Careflight helicopter – For shorter distances, our Eurocopter EC-145 provides smooth, quiet emergency transport.
  • Careflight fixed wing – For longer distances, our two King Air 200 airplanes are comfortable and effective, flying patients plus a family member in most weather conditions.
  • Emergency vehicles – For distances over ground, our fully-equipped ambulances transport patients quickly.

Careflight reaches Avera locations across the Upper Midwest with primary service areas of:

  • Aberdeen, SD
  • Marshall, MN
  • Mitchell, SD
  • Pierre, SD
  • Sioux Falls, SD
  • Yankton, SD

If needed, Careflight can also travel to large medical centers in:

  • Bismarck, ND
  • Fargo, ND
  • Minneapolis, MN
  • Omaha, NE
  • Rapid City, SD
  • Rochester, MN
  • Sioux Falls, SD

Expert & Compassionate Care from Specialized Flight Teams

To ensure that each patient benefits from a quick trip to the emergency room and the best possible care – no matter the age or condition – throughout the flight, Careflight has four specialized flight teams:

  • Adult team – trained in trauma and critical care
  • Neonatal team – trained to support critically ill newborns
  • Obstetrics team – trained in high-risk obstetrical care for expecting moms and babies
  • Pediatric team – trained in pediatric critical care for children 14 and under

In addition to certified pilots, each Careflight team consists of paramedics and registered nurses experienced in performing advanced medical procedures. Count on their expertise in:

Careflight paramedics maintain certifications in advanced cardiac life support and trauma care. Flight nurses have critical care experience and hold certifications in trauma nursing and advanced cardiac life support for both adult and pediatric patients.

Throughout your transport, your Careflight medical crew constantly communicates with emergency department physicians and trauma team members. You’re virtually within the trauma center while still in the air.

Become a Careflight Member

The cost of emergency air transport often exceeds $10,000. Receive full coverage for only $49 a year through a Careflight membership. Discover peace of mind when you enroll in our Careflight membership program:

Why Consider Careflight for Your Family?

If you suffer from serious or chronic health conditions, live in a rural setting, are elderly, or simply want to be prepared in case of an emergency, a Careflight membership may be right for you.

As a member, you receive full coverage for Careflight’s emergency medical air transport services for yourself, spouse and dependents*. Your insurance carrier will be billed and their payment accepted as payment in full. If you don’t carry medical insurance, but are a Careflight member, your costs will be covered through your membership. While you don’t have to be a member of Careflight to utilize it as an emergency transport service – a membership simply ensures that you are fully covered.


If you have questions about the Careflight membership program or application, please contact the Avera Foundation at 605-322-4759.

*Careflight membership covers you, your spouse and unmarried dependent children under the age of 26. Any dependent age 26 or over, who is incapable of self-support because of a mental or physical disability, will need to purchase a separate Careflight membership.

Avera McKennan Careflight is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Medical Transport Systems, the industry's most respected stamp of approval for all aspects of air safety and quality. Careflight services provided by MRIS, LLC, Avera McKennan Hospital and University Health Center, and Med-Trans Corporation.


Celebrating 30 Years

Careflight has helped thousands of people throughout the last 30 years. Watch three incredible stories of how they save lives every day.

Careflight Photos

  • Roto-Wing

    Eurocopter EC-145 (Roto-Wing)

  • Eurocopter

    Interior of the Eurocopter EC-145

  • Fixed-Wing

    King Air 200 (Fixed-Wing)

  • King Air

    King Air 200 ready to receive a patient

Careflight Service Area

Careflight covers a 125-mile radius across the Upper Midwest. View the Careflight service area map to see where we fly.

Avera St. Luke's Careflight

Find Your Nearest Emergency Department

Check our interactive map to find the Avera emergency department closest to you. Then, view that hospital’s location profile for more facility details.

Emergency Patient Stories

Read Additional Stories

Live Better. Live Balanced. Avera.

Avera is a health ministry rooted in the Gospel. Our mission is to make a positive impact in the lives and health of persons and communities by providing quality services guided by Christian values.

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