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Helicopter Operations

Developed as part of the National Emergency Services Curriculum Project
Helicopter Operations.ppt Last Revised: 16 July 2002 1

Reasons to transport survivors via helicopter
• Would the amount of time needed to transport a patient by ground transportation to an appropriate facility pose a threat to the patient's survival and recovery? • Would weather, road conditions, or other factors affecting the use of ground transportation seriously delay the patient's access to advanced life support care? • Does the available rescue have the clinical skills or equipment needed to care for the patient during transport?
Helicopter Operations.ppt Last Revised: 16 July 2002 2

Aggravating Factors • Patients with advanced medical trauma issues may need to be transported via helicopter.ppt . The following aggravating factors are indicators – – – – – Head injuries or comatose A systolic blood pressure <90 A respiratory rate <10 or >35 A pulse rate <60 or >120 A prolonged extrication Last Revised: 16 July 2002 3 Helicopter Operations.

Aggravating Factors Continued – – – – – – – Paralysis of extremities or spinal cord injuries Associated fatalities A sprung or crushed pelvis Severe oral or facial injuries A need for Advanced Life Support An inability to maintain a patient airway Qualified personnel make the decision to use a helicopter Helicopter Operations.ppt Last Revised: 16 July 2002 4 .

and team information • Exact location of the accident.Information needed when requesting a helicopter • Team Name. Latitude and Longitude • Accident location in relation to towns or major roads. organization. as well as recent major hazards possibly caused by the accident • Nature of Accident • Number and relative ages of patients Helicopter Operations.ppt Last Revised: 16 July 2002 5 .

needed when requesting a helicopter Continued • Types of injuries of patients to be transported • Whether patients are trapped or were involved in a prolonged extrication • Frequency and callsigns to communicate with ground crews from the helicopter.ppt Last Revised: 16 July 2002 6 . along with PL tones if any Helicopter Operations.Info.

Landing Site Requirements • Should measure at least 60 feet square. preferably larger around 100 feet square – Obstructions surrounding the site may necessitate it to be larger – Remember that even though a helicopter may be able to land along a vertical plane in most situations.ppt Last Revised: 16 July 2002 7 . most helicopter pilots will want to have an approach and takeoff area Helicopter Operations.

ppt Last Revised: 16 July 2002 8 . rocks. The pilots point of view causes him not to be able to see them until right on top of them • Consider possible alternative sites if the accident site or first landing site chosen is possibly unfeasible Helicopter Operations. or loose dirt.Landing Site Requirements Continued • Consider the type of ground – Don't want an extremely sloped or rocky field – Notify pilot of any obstructions such as tall grass.

Landing Site Requirements Continued Helicopter Operations.ppt Last Revised: 16 July 2002 9 .

ppt Last Revised: 16 July 2002 10 .Landing Site Requirements Continued Helicopter Operations.

Marking the Landing Site • Mark the corners with secure items so that problems don't occur in the rotor wash – Many companies make markers specifically for this option – Smoke isn’t recommended in this situation because most first responders in an overzealous mode will make the site invisible rather than just an edge Helicopter Operations.ppt Last Revised: 16 July 2002 11 .

the landing area should be illuminated.Marking the Landing Site Continued • At night. but take caution not to blind the pilot on landing and takeoff – Have vehicles aim lights on low beams into the site – The helicopter pilot will most likely contact the ground crew to also turn these off so that the pilot and crew isn’t blinded on the approach – All helicopters have some sort of landing light Helicopter Operations.ppt Last Revised: 16 July 2002 12 .

ppt Last Revised: 16 July 2002 13 . Helicopter Operations.Marking the Landing Site Continued • Clear the site of all debris that might get sucked up in the rotor wash – Only put signal markers in the center of the landing area on request of the helicopter pilot.

Marking the Landing Site Continued Helicopter Operations.ppt Last Revised: 16 July 2002 14 .

ppt Last Revised: 16 July 2002 15 .Marking the Landing Site Continued Helicopter Operations.

• Always approach the helicopter in a crouched position with IVs or long objects carried low or parallel to the ground Helicopter Operations. • Always approach the helicopter from the front of the aircraft because of helicopter blind spots and danger areas.ppt Last Revised: 16 July 2002 16 .Approaching the Helicopter • Stay out of the landing site unless accompanied by a member of the aircrew or directed by an aircrew member.

approach from downhill. • Never walk around in the tail rotor area.Approaching the Helicopter Continued • When approaching on a slope. if unsure wait for an escort from the flight crew. Helicopter Operations. since the rotor will be closer on the uphill side normally.ppt Last Revised: 16 July 2002 17 .

Helicopter Approach Area Helicopter Operations.ppt Last Revised: 16 July 2002 18 .

ppt Last Revised: 16 July 2002 19 .Helicopter Approach Area Continued Helicopter Operations.

Helicopter Operations. • No vehicles are allowed within the landing site • Transferring patient(s) from the team litter to the helicopter litter is done outside of the landing area • Only the flight crew will open and close the doors or compartments on the helicopter • All unauthorized personnel should stay out of the landing area.ppt Last Revised: 16 July 2002 20 .General Helicopter Guidelines • DO NOT SMOKE in the landing area.

Helicopter Operations Tasks • Ground Team Leader – O-1002: Establish a Helicopter Landing Zone Helicopter Operations.ppt Last Revised: 16 July 2002 21 .