And Your Job Easier
— “C’mon down Life Flight . . . everything is good!”
Have you ever heard these words?
Maybe you’ve heard it flying over a Landing Zone (LZ)?
Or maybe you’ve said these words looking up at a medical helicopter circling the landing zone you and your team set up?
Whether you hear it from the air, or say it from the ground, makes no difference. Firefighter or Flight Crew –we’re all on the same team, and the point is the same for Flight Safety Net air crews and ground crews.
“C’mon down (insert air medical service name)” is not a landing zone briefing.
It’s okay to say the words. But it’s not okay to substitute the words for a landing zone briefing –or accept these words as a landing zone briefing.
When Seconds Count . . . It Still Takes a Minute or Two
I know what you’re thinking . . . because I’m thinking it too (kind of).
But what about the patients? They need our help. They need us to land right now!
The patients need you to maintain safety at all times.
- The patients need you to keep them safe
- The patients need you to keep your own crew safe
- The patients need you to keep the air and ground crews you’re working with safe
Then, and only then, can the patient get the attention and treatment they need for the given circumstances and situation.
Nobody can do more. Nobody expects more. Not even the patients.
So how do firefighters and flight crew get this done safely?
My answer may seem anti-climatic. Because my answer isn’t original. It’s just a different spin on what you’re already doing.
Follow a checklist.
Checklists save time and keep us from forgetting important stuff.
Time to Get Medieval
Here is a checklist to help you with medical helicopter landing zones – from the air or ground.
Just remember to bring your S.W.O.R.D.
S – Size, surface, slope
W – Winds, what direction are the winds coming from
O – Obstacles, where are the wires, cell phone towers, hockey nets, etc
R – Route, best way in and out of landing zone
D – Double check everything.
Every landing zone is different.
Every flight crew and fire department is different.
So you can (and should) modify the checklist to fit your needs. It’s not a “one size fits all” type thing. It’s a guide, and an easy memory trick to help you the next time you’re circling over a landing zone or setting one up. So the next time you hear, or say “c’mon down,” you’ll be ready.
Just remember to bring your sword.
Clear Skies & Tailwinds
What tips or tricks do you have to keep your local flight crews and firefighters safe? Tell us in the comments section below.