EMS has flawed call system ,several accident victims die in Arizona Cities

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Updated 3/24/00

Editor's Note: This is the story of the mountain view high school student hit by the car just outside the school. Because of the rotation system used to dispatch medical helicopters, The “golden Hour” passed and he died. While he was laying in the street dying an AirEvac helicopter flew overhead, they could not stop because they were not the dispatched helicopter. The rotation system instituted by the City of Mesa and other Arizona cities prevented rapid response for the victim.

Helicopter EMS in Arizona, A Medic and Pilots View, Exclusive to MesaAzCorruptionReport.com

UNSAFE FLYING, WHAT IS THE FAA DOING?
Native American Air has done some very dangerous things. One incident occurred when an AirEvac helicopter was on final approach to land at a scene call and a Native helicopter came in underneath the AirEvac helicopter to "snag" the transport. The AirEvac crew had to abort the landing. Native pilots frequently do not monitor the common air-to-air frequency that is set aside by the FAA to allow aircraft to communicate with each other. This is something that is a dangerous practice because on too many occasions AirEvac and Lifenet pilots have tried to contact a Native helicopter to let them know about LZ precautions, or to let them know they were landing behind their aircraft and they never acknowledge. This increases the chances for midair accidents and ones with ground based objects that they might not have seen.

Call Jumping, a dangerous sport
Native and DPS Air Rescue monitor other companies frequencies to try to jump calls. The ground crews will be expecting AirEvac or Lifenet, having our frequencies set up for critical communications and they look up to see another helicopter ready to land... not the one they asked for. Then, the originally dispatched helicopter will be ready to land and get canceled at the last minute, wasting all that fuel and man hours. It creates a lot of confusion when they see 2 helicopters but only asked for one. Again, creates for extremely dangerous LZ's and increased patient transport times.

DPS Helicopter Audited, State Mum on incidents
Speaking of DPS, their logs were reportedly taken by a State auditor and are being investigated for wrongful conduct. Northern Division is no longer self dispatching or being dispatched by EMSCOM. From the Lieutenant up there, they are only to be dispatched by Flagstaff DPS Ops Com... meaning, only true medical helicopters will be dispatched on calls for N. AZ. If there are none available, the agencies will call Flag DPS Ops Com to request a helicopter. What they had been doing was monitoring other companies frequencies... they said it was free to the public so they had first right of refusal.

Inadequate medical personnel on state chopper
BUT, they only have one paramedic assigned to the aircraft... No nurse. If one ground ambulance paramedic can't take care of the patient, why transfer care to the same level person when you could have a true air medical helicopter with a paramedic AND a nurse or two paramedics? Right off the bat you get a lower level of care because of a staffing issue. And then there have been incidents where the crews take ten minutes or more to get up in the air. Not acceptable... And on a few occasions, they have landed on scene, the medic got out, looked at the patient and said they weren't bad enough to be flown, and took off... But, there are times when they will take a Phoenix Fire-medic or a Nurse from Kingman's ER, but they are not scheduled for two medical crew members. Only on infrequent occasions.

Citizen death may be attributed to lack of professionalism
Uncalled for... There is the possibility that one person died while en route by ground ambulance to Flagstaff Medical Center because the DPS medic said they weren't bad enough to be flown... You can relate the same types of stories to many of AZ's DPS helicopters. This may have set the wheels in motion for their new Bell helicopter which is reportedly not being configured for air medical transports... Law enforcement and search & rescue missions only... no medical transports. It does have medical gear to assist when needed. Also, there is are reports that they have officers that are NEW paramedics, with no history of working as a paramedic prior to flying. It takes years of experience to get on a flight crew anywhere else. Guess those logs showed something but the public never heard about it.

No standardized training or minimum requirements?
Ask ANY ER staff member and ask them which agency provides the best care in the air and who provides the worst... Why? Training and professionalism. I was offered a job at all 3 agencies in the same time frame. Native wanted to put me on the helicopter the next day.. No classroom training... AirEvac has a minimum 6 weeks of training, I think Lifenet is 3 weeks...

New Airevac Helicopters will provide more efficient service
AirEvac just purchased 4 new Eurocopter A-Star B-3 Helicopters. They look like the ships Lifenet has but the B-3's have the strongest engines available. AirEvac should have4 the fastest and highest lift capacity in the valley with top cruise of around 155+ knots and full power to well over anything else in the valley (23000ft operating ceiling?). A former local aeromedical pilot once said, "With a full crew and loaded with fuel, they can pull an elephant off the top of Mt Humphries and still have power to take the circus trainer for a ride."

More to come soon...
You have just started across the street in Mesa when a car comes from out of nowhere and sends you flying about 50 feet. When you regain consciences you recall everything will be OK. I am just a half mile from where the medical helicopter is based. They will pick me up and take me to the nearest trauma center and save me... WRONG....Today is rotation day and the nearest chopper is miles away at an airport on the other side of the town. So you lay there kicking and twitching with you life's fluids streaming from your ears, eyes, nose and a few open wounds.. Thank God the fire department is arriving.. They try in vain to stabilize your broken body and keep you alive waiting for the helicopter. The firemen are making a valiant effort, they are not equipped for the trauma you are suffering, they try to make you comfortable, you feel yourself slipping into a darker and darker state of consciences time seems to be standing still, 5 minutes, ten minutes 20, 30 40. You can bearly hear the sound of the approaching helicopter, Finally after 45 minutes it has arrived, you are saved ! WRONG AGAIN!, your body has slipped to far, you are dying, the helicopter has arrived too late. But your family will still be stuck with the bill for around $5000.00. Even if you are DOA (dead on arrival) this must be paid.. sorry bout that folks. Sound like fiction ? it is not! once again your fate is in the control of narrow minded bureaucrats who are unable to see the Big Picture when it comes to the well being of their fellow man. ( or woman) In this wonderful city of wide streets and narrow minds you and your family's safety takes a back seat to the best interests of the bureaucrats and politicians.



LOOK FOR AN UPDATE ON THIS STORY. WE ARE NOW INVESTIGATING SEVERAL INCIDENTS, AT LEAST ONE ACTUAL INCIDENT THAT OCCURRED RECENTLY WHERE A 16 YEAR OLD DIED THAT WAS THE VICTIM OF A LONG DELAY IN RESPONSE BY THE HELICOPTER AS A DIRECT RESULT OF THIS FLAWED POLICY.


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