31-Mar-2011 Source: NEMSPA
On Tuesday March 22nd, multiple helicopter operators and pilots from every facet of the industry in and around the Cincinnati metro area got together to participate in an open discussion on helicopter safety as it pertains to Cincinnati.
The meeting was a joint venture put together by the National EMS Pilots Association (NEMSPA) and the FAAâ€™s Safety Team (FAASTeam).
Additional sponsors of the event included; Helicopter Association International, FEC Heliports and the Federal Aviation Administration. Over 26 individuals were in attendance with representation from the following programs and operations; ABX Air, Air Evac Lifeteam, Air Methods, Cardinal Helicopter, D & M Aviation Inc., Hamilton County Sheriffs Department, Irish Air, MedFlight of Ohio, Omniflight Helicopters Inc., PHI Air Medical, PHI Dove Flight, Signature Helicopter, Stratus Helicopters, University Air Care and Vertical Advantage Helicopter.
Rex Alexander, President of NEMSPA and George Ballard, FAASTeam program manager, teamed up to facilitate the three hour summit and open safety discussion. The meeting included an overview of a number of NTSB accident investigations with lessons learned. A short review and discussion of the recent NTSB alert bulletin concerning Meteorological Evaluation Towers and their potential impact on safety in the region was facilitated by Mr. Ballard. But the chief focus of the meeting was for the attendees to discuss and hammer out a framework for common radio communications and operations that would enhance safety for all helicopter operators in the Cincinnati Metro area. This Letter of agreement is currently under review and will be made public very soon.
Many voiced their opinion that this same type of open safety forum should take place at all large metropolitan areas which have a high volume of helicopter operators and traffic. Everyone in attendance participated greatly in all of the discussions held and seemed to feel that the meeting was an overall success.
About the National EMS Pilots Association
The National EMS Pilots Association is a 501(c)(3) non-profit professional pilot organization dedicated to serving rotary wing and fixed wing pilots involved in the air-medical transport industry. Formed in 1984, NEMSPA enjoys a rich history of innovation and excellence spanning over 27 years and is synonymous with professionalism and safety. NEMSPA works very closely with the FAA, DOT, NTSB, HAI, National, State & Local Politicians, hospitals, health care systems, air medical providers, air medical organizations and many others to promote quality and safety in the industry. Additional information on NEMSPA, membership and its corporate sponsorship program can be found at http://www.nemspa.org