Quebec’s two private air ambulance services will join forces and expand services in an effort to get Quebecers to hospital faster – no matter where they are.

In an announcement made earlier this week, Skyservice and Airmedic officials said the strategic alliance would benefit both companies.

“We always have geographical needs that one cannot meet from the other,” said Skyservice President Sam Cimone. “This partnership will help fill in those gaps.”

Each company does roughly 600 patient transfers a year, though Skyservice primarily focuses on long-range, international transfers while Airmedic specializes in short and medium-range ones.

Both operate in a similar way, with each having pilots, nurses and paramedics on staff, as well as doctors who fly on an on-call basis.

Skyservice can transport up to two patients in one of their jets, as well as a family member, in addition to medical staff.

“The equipment we use is portable equipment,” said Cimone. “It’s all designed that we can have a simple intensive care unit inside the airplane.”

Airmedic, which often conducts transfers involving remote areas, has equipped its pilots with night vision equipment and other advanced instruments.

Neither service is covered by Medicare and group or private insurance policies can vary. However, Airmedic sells service through memberships that can vary between a few days to a year.