It was a night to recognize the “best of the best” in air medical safety Monday at the Air Medical Transport Conference Annual Community Awards, part of the annual AMTC event held this year in Virginia Beach, Va.
More than a dozen awards were presented, including the Jim Charlson Aviation Safety Award and Program of the Year, both sponsored by American Eurocopter.
Longtime aviation safety advocate Randy Mains was honored with the Jim Charlson Aviation Safety Award. The award is given annually to an individual who has made significant contributions promoting aviation safety within the air-medical transport community. Mains was nominated by Oregon Aero, a product engineering company that sponsors him to promote air medical safety, including Crew Resource Management and Air Medical Resource Management (CRM/AMRM) training.
Mains’ career spans 45 years and 13,000 flight hours. As an Army helicopter pilot during the Vietnam War, he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Bronze Star and 27 Air Medals.
A pioneer of Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) in the U.S., Mains has been a stalwart safety advocate for the past 30 years. He knows the power of crew resource management and air medical resource management, tools that were developed by the airline industry to prevent accidents. He has written three books targeting safety issues plaguing the air medical transport industry and offering solutions.
Mains is currently working on a chapter for the “Principles and Direction of Air Medical Transport” Air Medical Physician Association (AMPA) textbook, second edition, with Dr. Ira Blumen, a noted expert in the HEMS field and 2004 recipient of the Jim Charlson award. Mains continues to promote HEMS safety through his writing, instruction, and speaking engagements.
“When I delivered my keynote speeches on safety to more than 700 people at the Air Medical Transport Conferences in St. Louis (2011) and in Seattle (2012), I knew people heard my message,” said Mains. “What is thrilling about receiving such a prestigious safety award is that it makes me realize that people have actually been listening.”
American Eurocopter also presented the prestigious Program of the Year award to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center Air Care & Mobile Care (ACMC) unit. The award is given annually to the air medical transport program that has best demonstrated safety as its highest priority.
Since its inception in 1984, the Air Care & Mobile Care (ACMC) team has completed nearly 35,000 accident-free patient care flight missions and 200,000 ground missions. Air Care & Mobile Care was one of the first transport programs in the country to be CAMTS accredited in four levels of transport and maintained the accreditation since 1996.
As a part of the continuum of care offered by the larger organization, the University of Cincinnati Medical Center (UCMC), Air Care is the only program in the region to carry an emergency physician or advanced practice nurse on every flight. ACMC continues to develop programs to address critical needs. It is working with UCMC’s Maternal and Fetal Medicine group to create a specialty transport team of Labor and Delivery nurses to provide fetal monitoring and high-risk OB care in transport. ACMC is also currently planning curriculum and testing for a critical care paramedic program, which will also enhance the care their patients receive.
“To continue to be a leader in transport medicine, we know we have to always be looking for ways to take the program to the next level,“ said Teri Grau, ACMC Director. “To do this, we stay focused on our mission of bringing the world class care of UCMC to the patient through advanced transport medicine. Our vision is to be the recognized world leader in transport medicine; the standard by which other programs are measured.”
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