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Boston MedFlight Releases Helicopter Landing Zone Safety Training Video Series for First Responders

BEDFORD, Mass. – Boston MedFlight, a nonprofit, nationally recognized critical care medical transport organization that partners with a consortium of academic medical centers, has produced a helicopter landing zone safety video training series developed for use by Massachusetts first responders and air ambulance companies operating in the Commonwealth. This is the first landing zone safety video series created specifically for Massachusetts first responders.

Nationally, helicopter air ambulance accident statistics show that off-airport landing zones are one of the most challenging environments for aircraft and crews. Massachusetts has more than 2,000 designated helicopter landing zones that have been selected by local first responders to ensure safety during a patient evacuation. Proper setup of a landing zone for the arrival of a helicopter and dealing with emergencies are essential to ensuring the highest level of safety for crews and patients.

While Boston MedFlight actively provides on-site landing zone training for first responders throughout the Commonwealth, it is challenging to visit all 351 cities and towns on a regular basis. In an effort to provide a readily available resource for this standardized training, Boston MedFlight reached out to the Massachusetts Department of Transportation’s Aeronautics Division and successfully secured funding for this six-part video series.

“For more than 30 years, Boston MedFlight has been part of a larger critical care delivery team that includes clinicians and caregivers from our region’s hospitals, fire, police and EMS agencies,” said Maura Hughes, CEO of Boston MedFlight. “We are committed to safe aviation operations and work to ensure that every safety challenge and risk is addressed. Providing specialized training resources like this video program are important steps in achieving that safety goal.”

“The Massachusetts Department of Transportation is pleased to help promote landing zone safety throughout the Commonwealth,” said MassDOT Aeronautics Administrator Jeffrey DeCarlo. “We are proud to support efforts to educate and inform first responders and aircraft crews regarding helicopter safety, and appreciate the efforts of all those involved in producing this video series.”

The landing zone safety training video series was originated and produced by Boston MedFlight; however, it is intended for use by all Massachusetts first responders and applicable to all air ambulance companies operating in the Commonwealth. The six segments cover all that a first responder needs to know when operating with a helicopter air ambulance, from landing zone selection and preparation, to patient loading and aircraft emergencies.

Boston MedFlight is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded in 1985, and partners with a consortium of leading medical centers including Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston Children’s Hospital, Boston Medical Center, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Lahey Hospital & Medical Center, Massachusetts General Hospital and Tufts Medical Center. Boston MedFlight provides critical care medical transport to the region’s most severely ill and injured patients with its fleet of helicopters, airplane and ground vehicles, all of which are outfitted with state-of-the-art medical equipment and serve as mobile intensive care units. With highly trained critical care nurses and critical care paramedics, Boston MedFlight transports adult, pediatric and neonatal patients with a diverse range of diagnoses, including medical, trauma, and neurological, respiratory, cardiac, and obstetrical concerns. Each year, Boston MedFlight completes over 4,500 patient transports and provides over $4 million in free and unreimbursed care to patients in need with little or no medical insurance.