This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
and encourages them to be engaged in the process. It might very well one day be the paramedic in the back who calls out the crossing wires on approach that saves your life (as happened here a few weeks ago). Apathy, complacency and fatigue are killers.. Who among us can say that we are as sharp and vigilant on our fourth flight of the night lifting off at 5 a.m. as we were on our first lift off 11 hours ear- lier? You have to be or don’t go! It is so easy to take as routine the business of de- parting the base on a call. There are no routine departures and any liftoff could be your last unless all aboard are alert, engaged and communicating. It is para- mount that you demand this every time. Unfortunately I think it is human na- ture that the more we get away with do- ing something, no matter how risky, the more comfortable we become with it. While the pilot will ultimately bear the responsibility if something goes wrong, there are no ranks aboard an EMS heli- copter. Each one of you has the duty to cancel or abort a mission when the focus of what you are doing, safely operating in an aircraft, takes a back seat to some secondary task. You do the patient no good whatsoever to pick them up from that accident scene only to kill them in a helicopter crash.

In recent months I have taken a more active role in briefings, encouraging crews to be engaged and communicate how they would respond to this situation or that scenario. One thing I discovered is that very few have any plan of action for their own survival. Some had a blind trust in their pilots, Flattering but dumb. Some were comfortable sleeping on the out bound legs, a dereliction of their re- sponsibilities as fellow crew. Many if not most were ambiguous about expressing their being ‘uncomfortable’ with current weather, fuel status, cruising altitudes, LZ’s or any number of other events that might be considered less than safe oper- ating practices. I have, on occasion, told my crews that my job during the next 12 hours is to kill them in a horrific heli- copter crash and that it is their responsi- bility to not let me. Harsh, morbid, rude and not well received by some, but it is a wake up call for some of them and for me, to not strap on a 9000 pound aircraft and defy the laws of gravity without truly respecting the potential consequences of • August 2009


every decision that we will make. While I have no way of knowing what happened aboard any of those helicopters that became statistics last year, I would bet that not one crew member on any one of those aircraft, when the call came in walked out of their bases and got on board their respective helicopters, was thinking that this was going to be the last

flight of their lives, or that when they left for work that day they had seen their fam- ilies for the last time.

My recommendations:

1. Work methodically, with purpose and constantly evaluate yourself and the manner in which you perform your du- ties. Seek out

Continued on page 12 Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52
Produced with Yudu -