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Just Plain Ruff

LifeNet helicopter crash - northern missouri

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You know, it's been many years since I entered EMS. About 20 to be exact. He was my partner for about 6 months off and on. We had worked about 50 shifts together. He was my FTO for the first couple of weeks. No new hires so they kept me on with him.

I lost touch with him when I went to medic school. Met him again about 4-5 years later but we just never kept in touch although I knew where he worked but just never got up to his aircraft base.

When I worked at a small service in north KC area, I was hoping to meet up with him on a air transport but it was not meant to be.

EMS lost a great medic.

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Please extend, if possible, my condolences to the personal and service-extended families involved.

Also, agreed to await NTSB investigative result statements.

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It is horrible anytime we lose a loved comanion and friend.

My condolences to Ruff and family.

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Sorry Ruff. Here is some information on air ambulance accident rates, that profession became the most dangerous job in the US in 2007. The NTSB has been promising to improve safety in this industry, but I don't know if they ever implemented any new standards.

http://www.ntsb.gov/doclib/speeches/sumwalt/sumwalt_050411.pdf

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They did implement more stringent procedures but the air ambulance industry believes that they can police and regulate itself so most of the suggestions given by the NTSB have not been implemented in my understanding. One of my best friends is a flight medic and he said that some of the suggestions were just too expensive to implement and some were just not considered feasible.

Every time I see a helicopter flying over my house or wherever I'm at I wish them well and say a little prayer to get them to their destination safe. I trust in the maintenance and skill of the pilot and the mechanic as well.

I also wonder whether that particular flight that is going over my head is an appropriate flight or not. Could that patient have gone by ground or did they absolutely need to go by air.

Edited by Ruffems

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Glad you said that Ruff, I was going to ask that question, but felt it might be inappropriate to ask in this thread since your friend died. My guess is that over 50% are probably not "necessary", meaning that ground transport would have been sufficient. I can remember having the flown patient close to being ready for discharge from the ER by the time the ground ambulances arrived with the "less" critical or "no mechanism of injury issues" patients from the same wreck many a time. But its been a long time since I have been in it, so I hope it has improved. Don't have any real statistics though, has anyone studied the proper use of helicopters at your service ?

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Ruff,

I know what you are going thru. My paramedic class partner, working partner, and great friend also was killed in Lifenet helo crash in Norfolk, Nebraska back in June, 2002. The worst part of this was that day I was dispatching our Medic units and the local helo when I got a call from Lifenet to take a flight for them. I was dumbfounded as I knew they were already enroute to that location. With inquiry, they stated there helo went down. Unfortunately, I had the work schedule right in front of me as my friend also remained in a part time status for our service. We have quite a few of our medics working for Lifenet and when I found out my friend was on duty that day, my heart sunk.

Hang in there partner.

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