I am on this board because I am currently in nursing school, but I am actually asking this question for my husband. He is an active duty helicopter instructor in the Navy and will be retiring in a few years. One of the post retirement jobs he is looking into is HEMS. My question is, do your PILOTS have any medical training at all? What are the pilots doing while you are assessing your victims on the ground? I realize some helos do not have flight control locks and therefore the pilots would have to remain at the controls even while on the ground, but at the same time, if you have a mass trauma and the helo were equipped with flight control locks are the pilots sitting there twiddling their thumbs? I'm exaggerating here of course, but you understand my question.
Thanks for any info.
Oct 26, '08
At the flight program where I work the EMS pilots have no medical experience and they are not required to help with the patient. When we land at scene calls they remain with the helicopter as most of the time they are still running while we care for the patient (we have 10 minute ground times unless we have to RSI). When we do interfacility transfers the pilots can either remain with the aircraft if we have an unsecured LZ (usually have many onlookers that want to see the aircraft) or come inside with us if the area is secured. Some of the pilots will help with our bags/gear etc but are not required to.
One pilot I flew with several years ago would not step foot in the hospital because it would make him physically sick.
Hope this helps!
Oct 30, '08
There was a recent thread about this on FlightWeb, another good site for you all to know about.
Some services have a policy that pilots should NOT have medical training beyond CPR. What little they can do to help on the ground is easily requested/instructed by the crew (that's us!). They should be 100% focused on their aircraft and safety issues. In flight, I only tell the pilots what they need to know at the time to manage the flight (maintaining a higher cabin pressure, and the like).
There are many services with a neutral policy. They don't care if the PIC knows anything more than CPR or not. Overall, I don't think most services will care.
Please pass on to your husband our thanks for his service!