Category: SAFETY MATTERS: An Online Magazine

“Safety Matters” is an online magazine created and authored by both MedFlight and HealthNet Aeromedical Services.

A Southern Ohio Training Collaboration

-Amanda Ball, Safety Officer at MedFlight

Over a decade ago, Healthnet Aeromedical Services and MedFlight partnered to open the first co-owned and operated base in the nation.  Referred to by locals as “Healthnet 4 / MedFlight 7”, the team is based at the Greater Portsmouth Regional Airport and serves citizens in Ohio, Kentucky, and West Virginia on a daily basis.  The team is steeped in experience and led locally by paramedics who are passionate for elevating safety and maintaining quality in the industry.  Serving a rural area scattered with EMS and volunteer fire departments, they recognized a need early on for continuing education in the area.  The base itself is unique… So to host a unique conference was not out of the question.  This year, the team hosted their 10th Tri-State Conference at Shawnee State University in Portsmouth, OH.  What originally began as a smaller conference for healthcare providers has grown into a regional multi-track training for EMS, Nurses, and Firefighters.

With the help of our friends at Portsmouth Fire Department, full-day tactical training was provided for the fire personnel in attendance.   This year’s training included high angle rescue, rope rescue, rappelling techniques and more.  At the same time, EMS and hospital personnel were involved in hands-on clinical labs.  This full day included muscle memory training, advanced airway access labs, a live birth simulator, a pediatric assessment station, and riveting clinical lectures.

The benefits of multi-disciplinary training are endless.  Attendees represented local hospital staff, private EMS providers, volunteer firefighters, public township EMS officials, paid Fire/EMS departments, flight crew members, and nursing personnel… All of whom work together, responding to the same local emergencies, 24/7.  Don’t wait for an emergency transport mission to work together with your local healthcare providers.  Train hard and train often with them so future emergency response remains as seamless and safe as possible.

The goal of the HealthNet Aeromedical Services and MedFlight Tri-State Conference remains the same every year:  To thank local Fire, EMS, and Nursing personnel for their service, and to provide an opportunity for multiple local agencies to train together and practice the skillsets they use daily when responding to community needs.

This article was also shared in a magazine called Safety Matters, a collaborative effort owned and produced by MedFlight and Healthnet Aeromedical Services. 

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MedFlight Ground Mobile ICU Incident

UPDATE 2/8/18, 11:24am:  Chuck continues to heal and recover and remains in the care of The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.  His family and loved ones have been notified and are at his bedside, along with many of our crew members.

Because Chuck’s family resides outside of Columbus, some out of state, we have set up a GoFundMe account to help cover their travel and living expenses while they journey with Chuck through the healing process.  If you would like to donate, please visit www.gofundme.com/medflightstrong.

 

2/5/18, 1:57am:  The injured crew member, Chuck Calissie, remains in the care of The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.  Dale Muetzel, Samantha Brocwell, and Cody Shetler have been released from Riverside Methodist Hospital following medical evaluation.

The teams at MedFlight would like to thank you for your overwhelming thoughts and prayers during this incident.

 

2/5/18, 12:42am:  The families of the Mobile ICU ground team involved in the accident have been updated regarding the conditions of their family members and have approved the release of names.  The injured crew member was Chuck Calissie, who is currently being treated at The Ohio State University Wexner Center.  Dale Muetzel, Samantha Brocwell, and Cody Shetler are currently being evaluated at Riverside Methodist Hospital.

Special thanks to local first responders, the staff at Mary Rutan Hospital, Columbus Division of Fire’s CISD team, and all others involved for their quick response and support.  We will continue to keep you updated.

 

2/4/18, 9:02pm.  At approximately 6:45pm on Sunday 2/4/18, while enroute to a referring facility to begin a patient transport, MedFlight’s Columbus-based Mobile ICU team was involved in an accident with injuries to one of the medical crew members.  There were no fatalities.  First responders transported the team to the local hospital for assessment.

We will keep you updated as details are available.  Please do not call our emergency dispatch number at this time in regards to this incident.  We are still processing requests for critical-care transport if needed.  We thank you for your support and patience as we assist our team during this incident.

 

 

Three Souls…


Three Souls” – Bev Meade, MSN, RN, MHA, CEN, CCRN, CFRN, CTRN, TCRN, EMT-P. Flight Nurse, MedFlight 3.

Our pilot completed his safety checklist and risk assessment, and contacted our Columbus, Ohio, Communications Center with the first radio traffic of the morning: “MedComm, this is MedFlight 3. We have 3 souls, 1 hour 30 minutes in fuel, 8 minute ETA.”.  This radio transmission is always given before we lift from our helipad to begin our mission.  The response was as expected from our experienced Communication Specialists watching over all of us… they monitor us flying and driving our patients “to and fro” for this company.  They acknowledged us with “Copy MedFlight 3… 3 souls, 1 hour 30 minutes in fuel, 8 minute ETA”, and we lifted into the cool, pre-dawn calm with our Night Vision Goggles (NVG’s) down and activated.

 

Our mission was to transport a patient with an ST -elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) from a rural area in Ohio to the closest cardiac interventional facility… rapidly, efficiently, and safely.  As we landed at the remote landing zone (LZ), we did as we were taught and as we have done hundreds of times on landing… We focused our attention outside diligently, looking through and around the NVG’s for hazards that could mean disaster for the “three souls” on board.

 

Safety is and has always been a top priority for my company, and I am thankful that we are recognized as one of the most safety-conscious critical-care transport organizations in the state.  We communicated succinctly with the local fire department at the LZ, and were acutely aware that our safe landing could mean the difference between life and death for our patient, whom we have yet to meet, and, of course, for us as well.  Even though the “three souls” on board have thousands of safe arrivals, each landing and takeoff still makes me alert, tensed, & ever-vigilant for the unseen hazards that we all know are out there.

 

“MedComm, MedFlight 3.  We’re ‘skids down’ safely”  is what we all wanted to hear, and that is exactly what transpired.  As usual, I thanked my pilot for a safe landing and waited until the blades came to a complete stop before exiting the aircraft to retrieve the necessary equipment, supplies, and of course… my paramedic! As we walked to the waiting EMS vehicle,  I contemplated what we might find, what might need to be done quickly, and what a difference we can make in this person’s life.

 

After assessing and placing appropriate monitoring equipment on our patient, we departed the EMS vehicle in under 7 minutes to rapidly load & secure our patient for the lifesaving transport he desperately needed.  Our pilot once more pierced the airwaves with “MedComm, MedFlight 3.  Lifting from scene with 4 souls, 1 hour 20 minutes in fuel, 30 minute ETA” and we departed the rural hills of Ohio for the center of the state, where critical interventions awaited this patient.

 

After arriving at the receiving hospital and transporting the patient to the cardiac catherization lab, we became “3 souls” again… the team of 3 who answer the call of duty, who respond without hesitation to help the sick and injured, whose life’s work and studies have led each soul to this place, at this time. And I know that there are others just like us at MedFlight around the nation that are awake at 0200, answering the incoming radio or telephone call, responding just as quickly and safely to save the life of another soul. 

 

The mission was completed, the cardiac vessel reopened, and the patient was recovering to resume his life in southeastern Ohio.  As each of the “three souls” completed the post-flight tasks, readying the aircraft for the flight home… me completing the patient care chart and sending it to the receiving facility, the medic restocking the aircraft for another mission if needed, and our pilot refueling for the flight home or to another destination as needed…  I paused for a moment to consider what we had just accomplished.  All of us played a part in the outcome of this patient: Family, EMS, our Communication Center, all of our ancillary personnel, the flight crew, and receiving facility… Each entity relying on the other to do their jobs and save a life.

 

As we were enroute to our base, I considered the new day dawning as the sunrise peaked above the hills of southeastern Ohio where I call home.  I announced “goggles up”, and I contemplated how each of us have a pivotal role in this mission.  I am still in awe after 20 years serving others in critical-care transport how all of this happens almost seamlessly to improve the outcome of our patients.  But, perhaps, more importantly…  I looked to the right toward my medic, and in front of me to my pilot, and I am thankful that each one of the “three souls” are where they are supposed to be, doing what they are supposed to do, and that each of us bear the burden of safety and excellent patient care and quality transport so that we can hear once more “MedComm, MedFlight 3 is safe on deck with three souls” as we land at our helipad…  Mission accomplished.



	

A Strong Partnership in Portsmouth

MedFlight and Healthnet Aeromedical Services Extend Partnership with SOMC

Portsmouth, OH.  Ohio-based MedFlight and West Virginia-based Healthnet Aeromedical Services are proud to announce the extension of their Preferred Provider Agreement with Southern Ohio Medical Center through 2020.

Healthnet Aeromedical Services 4 / MedFlight 7 is a shared critical-care air medical base located at the Greater Portsmouth Regional Airport and recently celebrated 10-years of service in Scioto County.  Their current provider partnership with SOMC has been in place since the inception of the base and was re-signed in 2014.

“We’re honored to have the full confidence of the leaders and staff at Southern Ohio Medical Center.  We share a wonderful relationship with them and are pleased to have the opportunity to extend it through the end of the decade and beyond,” said Healthnet Aeromedical Services CEO Clinton Burley.

Healthnet Aeromedical Services 4 / MedFlight 7 provides air medical transport from remote scenes as well as from area hospitals 24/7, 365 days-a-year.  The flight teams have many years of experience transporting adult, pediatric, and neonatal patients reliant on ICU-level expertise, equipment and medicine.  The team also carries blood and fresh plasma on the aircraft.

“We’re humbled to be part of the Scioto County community and proud we can provide excellent service to the residents in Southern Ohio in their greatest times of need.  It’s truly an honor that SOMC trusted us to continue to serve them as their air medical provider of choice”, stated MedFlight President Tom Allenstein.  “We’re looking forward to working together with the Southern Ohio Medical Center to better patient outcomes for years to come.”

Learn more about MedFlight at www.MedFlight.com and Healthnet Aeromedical Services at www.HealthnetAeromedical.com.  

Winter Helipad Safety Tips

Here are 10 quick tips on how to keep your helipad in SAFE shape this winter:

1.  Use only UREA or a chemical product that claims no corrosive properties or hazards to the environment, such as the ice-melting agents Sodium Acetate or Potassium Acetate.

2.  DO NOT USE ROCK SALT.  Rock salt is corrosive to the aircraft.

3.  Do not use sand as an anti-skid agent.  It will not stay in place, and creates a projectile hazard during rotor wash.

4.  Helipad warning/safety signs should be cleared of snow and remain visible.

5.  Do not bury perimeter lighting in snow piles.

6.  Do not pile snow in front of gates or routes of ingress/egress from the helipad.

7.  Snow piles immediately adjacent to the helipad greater than 2 ft high could cause damage to the helicopter tail rotor.

8.  Position snow piles so that melting snow and ice will drain from the helipad and not refreeze, creating a fall/slip hazard.

9.  Helicopters develop rotor was that typically exceeds 75-100 mph.  Dangers include serious wind chill and projectiles created by any loose snow or ice.

10.  Whiteout conditions can occur during takeoff and landings.  These can affect pedestrian and motor vehicle traffic.

 

**Consider helipad painting schemes that help melt ice and snow.  A red background is recommended.  See FAA Advisory Circular (AC) 150-5390-2BPara 409b. (2) and fig 4-10b**

 

THANKS FOR ALL YOU DO TO KEEP OUR FLIGHT CREW AND PATIENTS SAFE!

 

For more info, visit http://www.OACCT.org

or contact:

Bill Fauconneau, Safety Officer at MedFlight.  bfauconneau@medflight.com

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Landing Zone Safety and Set-Up

Landing Zone Safety and Set-Up

Remote scene safety is important from the very beginning… and that includes securing a safe landing zone (LZ) for our helicopters. Our healthcare partners can arrange for a Landing Zone Lecture, offering continuing education credit, while enhancing safety and familiarity with our helicopter. Note: Multiple department/agency lectures are encouraged.

Click here to request a Landing Zone Lecture for your location: https://outreach.medflight.com/requests/frmlz.aspx

***Landing Zone Setup***

LZ area should be free of obstructions. Eliminate these hazards:
– Wires (surrounding the landing area and High Tension power lines within 1/2 mile)
– Towers (TV, Radio, Cellular within 1/2 mile)
– Trees
– Signs and Poles
– Buildings
– Vehicles
– People

LZ area should be 100′ X 100′ if possible.
LZ should have as little of a slope as possible (less than 5 degrees).
LZ area should be a hard surface (concrete, asphalt, gravel, lawns, etc.).
LZ corners should be marked with highly visible devices (cones, flairs, strobes).
No debris on landing surface and within 100′ of landing area.
Land the helicopter(s) a safe distance from the scene/patient.
Never point bright lights directly at the aircraft!
Maintain security of LZ while helicopter is present.
Landing Zone Briefing
Type of LZ surface and size
How LZ is marked (cones, flairs, strobes, etc.)
All noted obstructions (see list above)

Precautions!
Never assume flight crew will see a hazard!
Never approach the helicopter unless directed by the flight crew!
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Hunt Smart. Hunt Safe.

hunting safety

Hunting season is upon us in Ohio, and our friends at Ohio-based G2 Outdoors provided some safe hunting tips for the enthusiast in your family.

Off Target, Off Trigger

When gun hunting, the rule should be “Off Target, Off Trigger” to prevent accidental and negligent discharge of the weapon.  Always point the muzzle at the ground or at a safe direction when carrying a loaded firearm.

Check Your Equipment

Inspect all equipment for possible damage or malfunctions.  If anything looks ‘out of sort’, don’t use it.  This includes firearms, bows, arrows, strings, broadheads, and more.

Use Fall Protection!

Always, always, always use fall protection when hunting from a tree stand.  When using climber stands, always be ‘hooked up from the ground up’.

Have a Clear Shooting Path

Know your target, and have a clear shooting path to prevent any accidents and shooting anything that is NOT your target.   When you have a target in sight, be sure there is nothing PAST the target that could be negatively impacted by a missed shot.

Be Accountable

Always let someone know where you will be hunting and when you expect to return home.  Always carry a cell phone or way to communicate in the event of an emergency.

About G2 Outdoors: “We’re a group of blue-collar guys that have a love for the outdoors.  We practice safe hunting habits and film our hunts to share with our friends and fans.”

Make sure to “Like” G2 Outdoors on Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/G2HuntHard