As we move into the busy summer season, here are some simple safety tips for operating around LifeMed's aircraft:
- Wait for the crew to come to you. Never approach a running aircraft except when accompanied by the crew.
- Always follow the crew's directions. It's great to have a lot of help, but too many hands often get in the way. Generally one person on each corner of the stretcher is plenty, and the fewer people our crews have to look out for under the rotor system—the better!
- Allow the crew to operate the aircraft doors and stretcher system. They may look similar to yours, but operate in a much different fashion. If they break, we're grounded, and patient care will be delayed.
- Approach and depart the aircraft as a group. Even when the aircraft is shut down, don't linger out of sight away from the group. Move with purpose. If you don't have a reason for being near the aircraft, back away.
- Propellers and tail rotors are nearly invisible when they're running, but there's no reason to be anywhere near them.
By Tim Nixon