A couple of times a year, we invite one of the 4 different Medevac Helicopter services that we use out to our main Fire Station and do a class on EMS helicopter operations, setting up LZ's, what they expect from us and what we can expect from them.  Having done this for many years, it's always a nice refresher.  We typically have to call for a medevac once or twice a year.


I was curious what other Fire Departments do.  How many of you regularly train with Medevac Companies.  I'm sure some of you in more remote areas of the country/world use them more often than we do.  Has anybody ever gone for a ride-along with them?  I keep meaning to, but something always gets in the way.

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It's even more nice when you have a medevac flight nurse on your FD :) We do train with them, though, usually once a year. Personally though, in my 12 years, we've only had to call for one once in my first due, as we're located in a rather urban area with several hospitals nearby.

Training and if you ask, riding along with medivac crews is one of the best ways to understand what you role is regarding working an incident involving a medivac helicopter or plane.


"Failure to prepare is preparing for failure... Be prepared..."
Yeah I suppose a flight nurse would be a handy thing to have around.
In the nearly four years (in Jan.2011), we have never had one show up on a call, although our local hospital has one. We do train w/ the local ambulance people every once in a while & w/ the regional airport about once a year. Think I'll TT one of the White Hats about this, because you never know when it may happen. Good topic!
- dano

p.s. - What color helicopter works best? (hehe)
We have two major medivac services in our area, Lifeflight and PHI. They come to one of our local depts at least once a year for training. I have hung out with lifeflight twice in the last two months but each time was an uneventful night. I have learned a lot about there side of things and have a great deal of respect for them. I will try to go with them again and see them in action, they really encourage us to come fly with them. Our dept. probably gets a half dozen lifeflight LZ set-ups a year and the training really helps us help each other.
Jan 19 2011 at 7pm at station 20. Crash Recovery / Lz safty tech set it up all by myself. Yea me LOL
We have Air-Evac close but we also have used Lifefight, PHI, and UK and UT helicopters. We have a volunteer who works for Air-Evac so he goes over stuff with us about setting up the LZ about once or twice a year. Basically as long as they can see the 100'x100' or larger space and it's well marked and no overhead obstructions you are good to go.
Our department has had a few classes with our hospital based MedFlight. We have a semi-public, not for profit ambulance service that usually does the requesting. Only a few of our stations are far enough away where they might call for them. However, I do remember something about not doing jumping jacks while the blades are spinning.
MD state police provides our Med Evac coverage. The company I am currently with, we try to do refresher training with them twice a year. For any new members and to refresh us older guys who forget our names every morning. We go over what they expect from us, LZ layout, best choices for LZ's, ect. This past training, we set up a ATV accident in the woods with 2 mocked up live patients and incorporated the Helo in the training (loading multiple Pts on the helo). It was good to have both fire(setting up LZ and asst.with Pt lifting) and EMS working in tandem like we would on a real scene. We used our 1st responders for the patient treatment with our EMT's observing them. We felt that most of the time our state certified 1st responders are on scene before the EMT's so we wanted them to use their skills and get comfortable with them in a scenerio as close to real as we could get.
It was a hit. All the feedback we got was positive, they said it beat sitting in a classroom and using rescue randys. They knew if they dropped these patients while moving them out of the woods, someone was really going to be hurt(my sons did not appreciate me volunteering them for this role, especially after they found out they couldn't go fly after being loaded on the chopper). It put stress on the crews but in a positive way.
Unfortunately unless you are requested to fly in the case of multiple patients...no ride alongs with MSP.
Good luck with future training, hope this info helps.
We have several medevac companies in our area, AirLife Denver, Flight for Life, and Northern Colorado Medevac. We use them on a semi- regular basis, probably once every month or two. As for training Air Life comes out once a year to do a training wiht us, and we have done some intermitten trainings with the others.

We do exactly the same, except once a year. They bring their own presentation, land nearby and train us on patient packaging, LZ setup, and communication. Then we play with the helicopter a bit. No rideouts. If a medic or an EMT wants to ride along we get on about a 6-month waiting list. None of us has done it. I doubt I ever will.

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