This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
NATIONAL EMS PILOTS ASSOCIATION


MEDICAL OPERATION


PROGRESS WITH FATIGUE IN AIR


BY KENT JOHNSON PRESIDENT NEMSPA


I can’t recall a more brutal week since I began fly-


ing EMS more than ten years ago. Six straight nights with multiple patient transports, complete with marginal weath- er, and unanticipated delays.


Long flights - short flights -


ornery nurses and ornery me. My last of seven nights will be over in 13 hours, and then it’s off to the lake for a solid week of sleep-fishing (I tie a bell to the tip of the rod). Sleep. Oh to have some sleep. I leave right after my shift is over.


I really need to get some sleep tonight.


Drinking that coffee this morning before going home was probably not so smart. As tired as I was, I just couldn’t sleep today; at least not much. dog, the doorbell...


and I think I’m really feeling it now. Wow, did I just run a red light?


Sundays are usually so quiet.


Surely we’re not going to fly again tonight – Please, tell me we’re not


going to fly tonight. I’ll preflight, brief my crew and then head straight to bed. . . . “Hi Julie, Hi Gordon. . . A flight? Already?”


This would be an easy one to turn down.


Weather everywhere. Nobody would question me. I am SO tired. But, we’ll be back in an hour, maybe two, and then I’ll sleep. . . I doubt there are many of us who have flown EMS


for long who can’t recall being in somewhat similar cir- cumstances at some time or another. If you’re reading this article now, it is because you have survived your night shifts relatively unscathed, at least thus far. Or maybe you have come close to experiencing an incident or even an accident and you look back and “thank your lucky stars” that things worked out as well as they did. Missed items on a walk-around (or forgetting to do a walk-around), too tired to run a checklist (that’s when you REALLY need to run a checklist), busted altitudes, airspace or runway incur- sions, failure to see wires or other obstacles, irritability, poor judgment – and the list goes on.


PHOTO: BELL HELICOPTER 37 ROTORCRAFTPRO.COM The kids, the wife, the This whole week has been that way,


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