Guardian Flight Names Steve Kelly Safety Director

Steve Kelly
Steve Kelly

Guardian Flight Inc. appointed Steve Kelly Director of Safety for Guardian Flight, a medical transport company. As a member of the Executive Management Team, Kelly reports to Fred Buttrell, Guardian Flight President and President and CEO of Air Medical Group Holdings (AMGH), Guardian Flight’s parent company.

Kelly is based in the company’s South Jordan, Utah facility. He is responsible for the safety and safe operations of all of Guardian Flight’s more than 50 bases serving 15 states including Alaska and Hawaii.

“In our company our most important goal is to remain safe every minute of every day,” says Buttrell. “To accomplish this, Steve is leading our safety culture and demonstrating through our actions that Guardian Flight embraces safety first.”

As Director of Safety, Kelly leads the company’s Safety Advisory Board, which consists of executive and senior management representatives from the company’s safety, aviation, rotor-wing and fixed-wing operations, maintenance and clinical operations, as well as human resources, education, and subject matter experts from throughout the organization.

The Board reviews all safety reports, evaluating root causes of incidents and situations reported, and then implements solutions and shares the results and accountability with all employees. This rigorous process helps create transparency throughout the organization and shapes a culture that promotes safety and safe operations in an environment that advocates continuous improvement.

Kelly joined the air ambulance industry as an IFR line pilot for STAT MedEvac in the Greater Pittsburgh area. He holds an airline transport pilot (ATP) rating in helicopters and airframe and powerplant (A&P) ratings and is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force in operations and maintenance. He holds a bachelors degree in science swell as degrees in aviation technology and small business management.

Kelly has worked in operations, training, and safety for Metro Aviation and STAT MedEvac. He has held positions as an incident review board member, safety officer, traveled as an aviation safety guest speaker and served as pilot base lead and instructor pilot. Additionally he has worked with the Dartmouth-Hitchcock IFR Helicopter Program where he collaborated with regional aviation management to promote operational standardization and safety through line oriented flight training for pilots and medical-crew members.

Guardian Flight is an Air Medical Group Holdings company. It operates a fleet of approximately 85 fixed- and rotor-wing aircraft dedicated to air medical flights in the Upper Midwest, Mountain West, Southwest, Alaska, and Hawaii. Guardian Flight has more than 800 professional staff, including clinical providers, pilots, mechanics, trained communicators, and support staff.

Guardian Flight companies include Eagle Air Med, serving parts of Arizona, New Mexico, South Dakota, Colorado, and Utah; Hawaii Life Flight in Hawaii and Guardian Flight in Alaska and Wyoming. Companies also include Gallup Med Flight and MedStar in New Mexico, and Valley Med Flight in North Dakota, Michigan, Montana, and Minnesota; Alaska Regional LifeFlight in Alaska, MoutainStar AirCare operating in Utah, and North Central Air Care in northern Ohio AeroCare Medical Transport serving in Arizona and New Mexico.

Guardian Flight’s parent company, AMGH, is an industry leader in aviation safety, with standards that exceed FAA and other regulatory agency minimums for training and aircraft equipment. AMGH is the country’s largest provider of emergency air medical services with more than 100,000 patient transports annually. Across the country, the company has more than 330 air base locations in 38 states with a fleet of more than 400 aircraft. Its team of more than 7,000 professionals is focused on safely transporting and caring for critically ill patients 24/7/365.