Helicopters first came into use in the military to evacuate injured soldiers. Because they can land in all kinds of terrain, they work really well for civilian use as well. Helicopter emergency medical service is a huge part of emergency medical response and emergency medical systems in almost every country. They are particularly useful when used to transport patients over a long distance where ambulance travel is not practical.
My husband and I were traveling from Georgia back to New York and encountered a very bad accident in the mountains of Pennsylvania. Traffic was backed up on both sides of the highway for miles as ambulance crews struggled to extricate the accident victims from their mangled cars. I am sure the helicopters in use that day saved lives because it would have been nearly impossible to drive them anywhere due to the high volume of stalled traffic and the mountainous location.
Helicopter Emergency Medical Service
The helicopters are also used to transport patients to specialized hospitals that may have burn units or advanced care facilities once the patient is stabilized. Because they can land in places a plane cannot, they can be used to extricate people from canyons or rivers quickly and get them to safety.
Most major hospitals have a helicopter pad on the roof these days and helicopter emergency medical service or transport for not only patients but organs for transplant. Whenever time is of the essence, an emergency helicopter can get the job done. In very isolated areas where ranches and towns are few and far between, helicopter emergency medical service can mean the difference between life and death.
The FAA has done much to improve the safety of helicopter emergency medical service. Pilots receive additional training to assess risks based on terrain and weather systems. Night vision equipment and helicopter terrain awareness equipment is in use to decrease accidents. The terrain awareness warning systems will alert the pilot if he is in danger of colliding with the side of a mountain or is too close to the ground. Additional inspections of emergency helicopters are also required.
Helicopter Emergency Medical Service Equals Ambulance Service And More
The helicopters used by the emergency helicopter medical service are equipped with life support equipment and all other equipment commonly found in an ambulance. Space is at a premium, but every effort to maintain the patient’s condition is made.
They are usually staffed by a pilot with first aid training and an emergency medical technician or paramedic. Sometimes in disaster situations doctors and nurses may also be on board. In multiple emergencies, the helicopter emergency medical service are life savers.