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Air Evac internal risk assessment concluded pilots were safe to conduct night operations, Baldwin said.


While Air Evac didn’t hear about any issues with unauthorized drones or electric shock, one aircraft was lasered at Bush Intercontinental. Air Evac and its EMS flight crews sign contracts stating that Air Evac will take care of its flight crews and flight crews will adhere to safety guidelines, said Baldwin, who wrote the contract.


Air Methods Corporation, another large helicopter air ambulance operator, deployed nearly 200 flight nurses, paramedics, pilots and aviation maintenance technicians to evacuate intensive care patients from the Hurricane Harvey devastation, through contracts with local hospitals. The company staged and prepped crew members from all over the country, along with 20 air medical helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft, in advance of Hurricane Harvey. Going towards Beaumont, some Air Methods pilots were shocked by the sheer volume of aircraft in the area, not to mention the devastation below.


Naval aircrewman 2nd Class Jansen Schamp, a native of Denver, Colorado, and assigned to the Dragon Whales of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 28, rescues two dogs at Pine Forrest Elementary School, a shelter that required evacuation after flood waters from Hurricane Harvey reached its grounds. The mission resulted in the rescue of seven adults, seven children and four dogs. Photo: Specialist 1st Class Christopher Lindahl


Air Methods Corporation crew prepares to launch during Hurricane Harvey rescue and recovery efforts in Texas. Air Methods responded to the disaster with 20 aircraft and 200 personnel. Photo: Air Methods Corporation


LESSONS LEARNED 5


“You’ve got to over-communicate to crews to make sure what you’re communicating is accurate,” Air Methods Operations Section Chief Schreiner said. “There is so much information coming in, and you have to verify it. You have to get the facts and only the facts because other decisions are being based on that information. Also, flexibility is very important. It’s not always going to be the best-case scenario.”


6


NVG capability is valuable. During Hurricane Katrina, no night air rescue operations were conducted. Now they are possible with training and technological advances. (Lesson learned by Tom Baldwin, Air Evac Lifeteam safety manager)


rotorcraftpro.com 73


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