Learn from great content in the form of articles authored by AAMS members that directly relate to aviation or patient safety.  


Looking back at 10 years of Air Medical Accidents
Submitted by Colin Henry, Chair AAMS Safety Committee

In 2008 the Air Medical industry experienced its worst year of accidents where we lost 29 of our colleagues. For many years we have experienced “spikes” in our accident frequency but nothing like what we saw in 2008. This risk management breakdown received the attention of Congress, Government Accountability Office, Federal Aviation Authority, industry, media, the public as well as the NTSB. As a result, the NTSB gathered some industry experts and held a hearing in 2009 to gather facts, data and perspectives to better understand the current state of the Air Medical industry.  Read on

Incorporation of EMS medical crews flying in single-pilot aircraft for challenge-and-response before-take-off confirmation checks.
Submitted by Dan Foulds, Owner, AMRM Training Solutions, LLC

Our objective is the safety and success of all HEMS/HAA flight operations. In addition to the tragedy for those involved in a mishap, the catastrophic loss of an aircraft or crew significantly damages the reputation and standing of all programs engaged in HAA operations.

For this reason, we have agreed to join with other industry stake-holders and advocate for a best-practice concerning the incorporation of trained and briefed medical flight team members for the confirmation checks required by the FAA immediately prior to lift off in an EMS helicopter.  Read on

Drone Education & Registration: It Would Take an Act of Congress
Submitted by Erik Bratton, Director of Safety, Hospital Wing

Drones are an increasingly popular way for hobbyists to fly. Smaller unmanned aerial systems (UAS), more commonly known as drones, are becoming more affordable by the day. They are more versatile than a standard remote control (RC) airplane or helicopter, can be equipped with very good imagery equipment, and have become easier to fly due to technology gains in the industry. They have a myriad of commercial applications as well, ranging from real estate photography, news gathering, engineering and mapping, law enforcement, aerial inspection, agriculture, and search and rescue. There is no doubt that both the commercial and recreational markets will continue to expand due to its usability.  Read on

Stepping Up to the Task
Submitted by Jason Hill, Base Maintenance Technician, Carilion Clinic Life-Guard/Med-Trans Corporation

“Guys, you can make money as an Airframe and Power plant mechanic with the skills I’m going to teach you in this class.”

This was the introduction I had to this crusty old Instructor named Rupert at Colorado Aero Tech many years ago.  I had just finished a six year enlistment in the Army as a Helicopter mechanic prior to attending Colorado Aero Tech.  I had no idea what FAA regulations were, or how they would apply to me as a future AMT.  All I knew was, I had acquired a love of maintaining these amazing machines in the Army and I wanted to do the same thing in the Civilian sector.  Read on…  

What will it take to reach VISION ZERO?
Submitted by David Ellis, IAFCCP Board President

What is the one factor that can’t be legislated, trained, or purchased to help us achieve that year we all dream of: the Vision Zero year? We have always held the belief that weather is the big killer in HEMS. But is this really the case?  Read on

If we fail, we fail together. Train for success.
Submitted by Miles Dunagan, NEMSPA Board of Directors, 10 year HAA Pilot

Every now and then you are asked to participate in something much larger than you realize. Unknowingly you say, “Sure, I’d love to!”, but then you start to feel the gravity of the project, and those you would be representing through your participation. My crew and I took part in just such a project the week before Christmas 2015.  We were invited by the HAI Safety Committee to take part in a project similar to the Pressure Point Videos produced many years ago by the FAA. Read on

Keeping Our Shared Air Space a Safe Air Space
Submitted by Susan Smith, Program Director; Ty Le Roy, Base Aviation Manager; Nick Mattheisen, Business Development Manager, Carilion Clinic Life-Guard 

As we all know, drone use is on the rise. While we recognize the value of drones in our national air space system, we also know that the advancement of this technology and its proliferation are moving faster than regulatory bodies can keep up with. Therefore, it is up to each HEMS program to find ways to work creatively to ensure that our shared air space remains a safe air space.  Read on

Fashion Vs. Function– Just how necessary is fire resistant clothing within the HEMS industry? Part 2
Submitted by Darrin Buchta B.S., NRP, FP-C

If you are returning for Part 2, welcome back!  If you haven’t had the chance to read Part 1 yet, take time to go back and read it first!  Without knowing the overall importance of fire resistant clothing within our industry, what you are about to read might not strike as much of a chord with you.  Read on

Fashion Vs. Function– Just how necessary is fire resistant clothing within the HEMS industry? Part 1
Submitted by Darrin Buchta B.S., NRP, FP-C

It seems simple enough right? We operate in temperature extremes, harsh environments, performing physically and mentally demanding tasks; all in the blink of an eye. Sometimes, they must be carried out by waking from a deep sleep or even mid bite from our long awaited holiday dinner. All of this must be accomplished without forsaking comfort; after all, we must be ready in a moment’s notice, during all hours of our shift yet have functional clothing that will weather the extremes that we will be subject to when the time to work comes calling.  Read on

Stacy Fiscus, Vision Zero Chair, shares her thoughts on HEMS safety and challenges her fellow crewmembers…

Humans are not perfect.

I heard recently that, by nature, humans make between two and twelve errors every hour. Some aviation studies in Europe have proven this number to be even higher. Considering this information, it doesn’t necessarily surprise me that we have our current air medical accident rate, nor the rate of line of duty deaths across the public service spectrum. However, in our job as flight crew we often work with at least two other crewmembers at any given time. In almost every EMS job, you have at least one partner. In firefighting, you generally have an entire team looking after each other. Is error really so common that we all can be making the same error at the exact same time?  Apparently.  Read on

If you are interested in submitting content, please contact Maryam Sabbagh at msabbagh@aams.org.