Increased Awareness for Helicopter Safety - News - @ JEMS.com


Increased Awareness for Helicopter Safety

Popular Mechanics article looks at the history of medevac crashes and the efforts to reduce fatalities.

 

 
 
 

JEMS | | Thursday, June 17, 2010


An upcoming Popular Mechanics article tells of the fateful night when a Maryland state police helicopter crashed while transporting a patient and crew to a local hospital in 2008.

The detailed article champions the idea that medevac missions are perhaps the most dangerous of flights in commercial aviation. Flying at minimum altitudes, landing in modestly suitable locations, most medical helicopters lack safety equipment considered standard in other commercial aircraft.

The Maryland crash, as well as others before and after, has raised the awareness that many medical helicopters are not required to have safety equipment. Most operate without terrain warning systems, night vision goggles and flight data recorders. The equipment shortcomings result in a crash rate twice that of similar commercial aviation practices. In fact, according to a 2009 study referenced in the article, medevac personnel have a fatality rate higher than fishermen, loggers or steelworkers.

To provide one remedy, the article stresses the need for pre-flight weather checks. A 2006 NTSB study found that between 2002 and 2005, nearly half of the air ambulance crashes could have been prevented if crews and aircraft had better flight-risk assessments and tracking systems.

The article also includes the progress that some air ambulance organizations have made regarding tracking and safety equipment. Additionally, the air vs. ground debate and costs are presented. Popular Mechanics noted that in 1997 there were 330 medical helicopters in service. After Congress mandated new Medicare reimbursement rates for air ambulances, the number of helicopters has risen to 850.

Look for "Critical Condition" a Popular Mechanics Investigation, in the July 2010 issue.
 



Related Links:



Connect: Have a thought or feedback about this? Add your comment now
Related Topics: News, medevac, helicopter, 2008 Maryland Medevac crash

 
What's Your Take? Comment Now ...

Buyer's Guide Featured Companies

Featured Careers & Jobs in EMS

Get JEMS in Your Inbox

 

Fire EMS Blogs


Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts

 

EMS Airway Clinic

Improving Survival from Cardiac Arrest Using ACD-CPR + ITD

Using active compression-decompression CPR with an ITD has been shown to improve 1-year survival from cardiac arrest by 33%.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

Philadelphia Fire Department Apologizes for Medic’s Jab at Police

Union head calls photos a slap in the face of officers.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

D.C. Fire and EMS Crews Blame New Technology for Patient’s Death

Delayed response blamed on recurring dispatch problems.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Suspect Steals, Crashes Maryland Ambulance

One killed, others injured in Prince George’s County crash.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Tennessee Trench Rescue

Worker pulled from Roane County worksite.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Time’s Ebola Firefighters

Doctors, nurses and others saluted for fighting virus.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Car Strikes Manhattan Pedestrians

Seven people hurt when car jumps curb.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

LMA MAD Nasal™

Needle-free intranasal drug delivery.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

VividTrac offered by Vivid Medical - EMS Today 2013

VividTrac, affordable high performance video intubation device.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

The AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher Conversion Kit - EMS Today 2013

AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher all-hazards preparedness & response tool
Watch It >


More Product Videos >