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HeliTorque Forum Index » EMS, SAR & Law Enforcement

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Most Rewarding Mission...
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WhirlyGirl
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2006 9:02 am    Post subject: Most Rewarding Mission... Reply with quote

A question for the EMS / SAR folks. What has been your most rewarding / memorable mission, or do you find them all equally fulfilling?

WhirlyGirl Cool
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BigMike
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2006 12:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Most of them.

One day last summer we did 5 primary missions before 1400, we started flying at 0645.
The Doctor and Paramedic "brought" 3 people back, who were showing a flat line on the Lifepack.

The medical crew constantly amaze me with what they can do.
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aviatorjames
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 05, 2006 2:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In almost nine years of EMS flying at the Stanford University Hospital in California, there are so many flights that have made me proud!

Professional pride comes from every flight when I feel like I've done my best. Sometimes the outcome for the patients is not good, but I still feel good about knowing that I've done my part to safely complete the mission!

But it's the kids that have made me weep, both in sadness and in relief!! Every once in a while, we'll get a recovered kid in a wheel chair come up to the helipad and want to see the helicopter that brought them to the hospital.
(they often don't remember the ride)

The best job on Earth.

I often tell people that the single greatest contribution that I'll ever make to this world is my wonderful son. But some of the flights I've done with Stanford are a close second place!

james
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Jp
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 07, 2006 5:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
The best job on Earth.


Soooooo Jealous.
A few years of hard work ahead of me, but I'll get there.
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Ascend_Charlie
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2006 6:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some 25 years ago, I was called out in a UH-1B Huey to look for a yachtful of people who were now yachtless. A C130 had located their beacon but couldn't get below the low cloud to check on them, and they were 30 nm offshore in a scrungy storm.

The B model was well equipped for this mission - not. Single ADF, not much use here. Crew of 2 pilots (the flying boss of the air force base, non-rated, decided to come along to see how things operated. Didn't need him, he used up too much payload) and a winch operator and a "teabag" - the rescue crewman on the end of the string. That left 3 spare seats on the bench in the back, and we were told that there were 4 in the dinghy. Tough luck, somebody would have to sit on the floor.

We launched on a radar vector towards the Herc, and some time later we established comms with him, and the ground radar said our paints were in the same area, me below the cloud and him above. With a 200' cloudbase, I didn't want him down there with me.

Shortly afterwards, we saw the dinghy, bobbing on the 15' seas. We dropped a smoke float upwind of them and set up a pattern, lowering the rescue crewman as we ran in on finals. Being a well-practised team, we put the teabag straight in the door of the dinghy without getting his feet wet. he strapped a victim into the second horse collar and we hoisted them up to the bird. A bit of fiddling around, and the first is inside. We then get the word that there were 6 of them in there. Going to be a little crowded, methinks.

We put the first rescuee against the left door, and backed up the glideslope to resume the routine to put the teabag back in the door. Rescuee number two was brought in, just as the first smoke float sputters and dies. Fly another pattern, drop another float, fly the pattern, put the teabag back in the door, still with dry feet. Bring up rescuee three.

This flow went for the full six rescues, dropping 2 more floats and the teabag only getting wet after the last float went out and I no longer had a steady hover reference. Fuel was now becoming a problem, so once the last rescuee was aboard, I headed for home, arriving back on minimum fuel after 3.1 hours.

On rundown, we were surrounded by press, and the rescuees were taken off to a news conference while we put the bird to bed.

The odd thing was - the people we had rescued NEVER SAID THANKS. And i got a kick in the backside for not sending the crewman back down to disable the beacon and sink the raft, which drifted around for 2 more days setting off alarms. My thought was "Tell'em f***'em!" as we were too low on gas and I wasn't going to risk my crewman again just to sink a raft. Shocked
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aviatorjames
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2006 12:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

BigMike wrote:

The medical crew constantly amaze me with what they can do.


...I couldn't agree more with Mike!!
We fly nurse/nurse, and they are awesome!!!

james
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WhirlyGuy
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2006 1:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmmm,

The fact that they never said thanks and then to have people complain that you hadn't stopped the beacon...

They must be completely mad.

Let me be the first to say thank you on their behalf then. I think that the job you guys do is one of the most commendable in the world and the fact that you had the sense, the correct sense NOT to down the dinghy and put out the beacon was fantastic. Even though you didn't get thanked by them I thinkt there would have been a lot less thanks if you had have downed it and then couldn't save anyone because you ran out of fuel and then another search had to be called out for you.

In my eyes you are all TRUE heroes and every bit of my heart goes out to the work that you perform risking your lives for other people.

Best wishes,

Mark

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aviatorjames
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2006 4:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

WhirlyGuy wrote:
... risking your lives for other people. ...WhirlyGuy


Safety Tip: Don't "risk" your life for anybody. The key to a long flying career (..no matter what type of flying you do..) is to not take unnecessary risks.

Risk Management is the result of experience and awareness as applied to any situation for the decision making process; before, during and even after every flight. The safe return of the aircraft and crew/passengers is the 1st goal of ANY flight.

In EMS flying, or in rescue operations, it's far too easy to let the situation dictate a decision making stream that compromises safety of flight. When safety of flight is compromised, you're part of the problem, not the solution.

It might sound cruel, but some person's accident, stupidity or just bad luck is NOT my emergency! I have a personal and professional responsibility to my crew, myself and those that want me to come home from work.

Whenever I abort a mission, I always review the decision making process. Sometimes, knowing that I made a good aeronautical decision helps balance the "mission-oriented", "get-the-job-done" mentality!

Fly Safely!!! ALWAYS!!!
james
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aviatorjames
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2006 8:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

After posting my little safety tirade last evening...

I received a call this morning about an EMS accident in southern California.
Another flying friend is gone.
Two flight nurses also.
Families destroyed.
A lifetime of sadness during the Christmas season.

I'm sad. I'm angry.

An Instrument equipped & certified aircraft.
An Instrument rated & current pilot.
Night flight with no moon illumination.
Low-lying, precipitation fog in the area from recent rains.

Why are these guys operating down in what I call; "The Hazard-Rich Environment"????

F*CK!!!
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