New AirMed helicopter visits for landing zone training
By Annette Tait
Some things you don’t do just once and expect to be ready. They need to be trained for, repeated and ingrained so that, if the time comes, you react almost instinctively.
There are a lot of those things in emergency medicine, and landing zone training is one of them. Responders need to work as a team with the air ambulance flight crew, concentrating on their patient while avoiding the helicopter’s lethal blades and tail rotors.
The Sanford AirMed crew was in Center recently to work with Oliver County Ambulance and Oliver County Rural Fire Protection District volunteers on how to choose and set up a landing zone for the AirMed helicopter, and safely load patients into the helicopter.
Safety is at the forefront of the training, for everyone involved. Local responders need to know how much space the helicopter will need, how identify potential hazards such as power lines and work accordingly, and to use vehicles or other light sources to mark and illuminate the landing zone at night. And they need to do it on the spur of the moment, in as close proximity to the emergency scene as possible.
“It’s not as simple as it looks on TV,” OCA Squad Leader Mickie McNulty-Eide said. “There are a lot of details that go into making sure the helicopter can land safely and that responders are prepared to safely load the patient.”