American Eurocopter Appoints 2012 Vision Zero Aviation Safety Award Blue Ribbon Committee

American Eurocopter Appoints 2012 Vision Zero Aviation Safety Award Blue Ribbon Committee

29-Aug-2012 Source: American Eurocopter

American Eurocopter announced that it has appointed the 2012 Vision Zero Aviation Safety Award Blue Ribbon Committee. This committee will evaluate the applications and determine the winner of the 2012 Vision Zero Aviation Safety award.

This prestigious award, established by American Eurocopter in 2006, was created with the purpose of promoting a higher level of safety within the air medical industry. As part of the award, American Eurocopter contributes up to $10,000 to the winner of the award to further develop aviation safety initiatives within their organization. This will be the sixth year for the award.

In 2011, Flight For Life Transport System won the award for its long history of involvement locally, regionally and nationally to promote safety in the air medical transport industry. Flight For Life was the first hospital-based EMS helicopter program in Wisconsin, completing its first patient transport in January of 1984. In 1996, it became the first air medical program in Wisconsin to gain CAMTS accreditation, a standing it has held ever since.

All programs and operators who are members of the Association of Air Medical Service (AAMS) are eligible to apply for the Vision Zero Aviation Safety Award, and may nominate themselves. Application forms are now available on the AAMS website ( To be considered for the 2012 award, completed forms must be received by September 20, 2012. Once the forms have been submitted, the 2011 Blue Ribbon Committee will review the applications and select this year’s winner.
Each member of the committee has extensive background within the air medical industry:

Bill Bryant MPA/HSA (Chairman)
Mr. Bryant is the president and principle of Sierra Health Group, a national healthcare consulting firm based in Golden, CO. Mr. Bryant has over 25 years of experience in the air medical industry, and has worked on consulting projects in over 30 States. He is a prior AAMS Board member and Officer.

Denise Landis, RN, EMT-P, MSA, CMTE
Ms. Landis has been in the air ambulance industry over 25 years and is the Program Director
for the University of Michigan Survival Flight and is also a past President of the AAMS. She is the current Chairperson of the Medical Transport Leadership Institute (MTLI), current Secretary/Treasurer of Michigan AAMS, President of Michigan AAA, and the Chair Elect of ACCT.

Eileen Frazer, RN, CMTE
Ms. Frazer has been the Executive Director of CAMTS since its inception in 1990. Frazer has published many articles and chapters related to safety and medical transport operations and has a regular feature in the Air Med Journal entitled “Ask CAMTS”.

Ed MacDonald
Mr. MacDonald has over 42 years experience flying patients since 1970 as a combat medical evacuation pilot and 19 years of experience as an active EMS Pilot, and has held positions as a Chief Pilot, Safety Manager, and Lead Pilot. He is a retired US Army Major, and is past President of NEMSPA, past Co-Chair of the AAMS/CORE Safety Committee, and past Chairman of AMSAC.

Chris Eastlee
Mr. Eastlee is the President of the Air Medical Operators Association (AMOA) a trade association representing certificated air carriers providing air medical transport. Mr. Eastlee works with federal agencies, Congressional offices, other associations and operators themselves on issues related to aviation safety, federal aviation regulation and guidance, and manages numerous AMOA projects for the enhancement of safety.

Gerry Pagano
Mr. Pagano is the Director of Operations for the Health Care District of Palm Beach County’s Trauma Hawk Aeromedical Program in West Palm Beach, Florida. He has over 30 years of experience in aviation operations including combat flight assignment, air traffic control, emergency medical services and consults on air carrier certification. Mr. Pagano has been certified as an Aviation Safety Program Manager at the Transportation Safety Institute, currently serves on the AAMS Board, and is the Chairman of the AAMS Safety Committee.

Jason Schwebach MBA, MHA, CMTE
Mr. Schwebach is the Administrative Director for MedCenter Air, the transport service for Carolinas Healthcare System in Charlotte, NC. He is a former military medical service corps officer and helicopter pilot with both the US Army & US Air Force, and has been in the air-medical industry for 19 years. He is a CAMTS site surveyor, immediate past president of the North Carolina Air-Medical Affiliation and founding vice-chair for the Association of Critical Care

Chris Bryant
Chris Bryant is a retired Master Army Aviator, having served 21 years in the US Army. Chris has held numerous safety positions during his tenure on Active Duty, including serving as an Accident Investigator and Aviation Safety Officer Course Instructor at the US Army Aviation Safety/Combat Readiness Center. Additionally he was an instructor pilot in the OH-58D Kiowa Warrior, is a combat veteran pilot and holds a BS from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Currently, Chris is the Fleet Safety Manager for American Eurocopter in Grand Prairie, TX.

For more information on The American Eurocopter Vision Zero Aviation Safety Award, please visit or

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