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Vanderbilt LifeFlight helicopter visits Arnold AFB for training exercise

Nov. 17, 2006, 9:06 AM

A Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) LifeFlight helicopter touched down at Arnold Engineering Development Center‘s (AEDC) airfield recently as part of a training effort to conduct airborne emergency evacuation familiarization training.
A group of AEDC‘s firefighters were on hand to meet the helicopter‘s crew, a pilot and two registered flight nurses.

Michael Gooch, Vanderbilt LifeFlight‘s Operation Tailwatch program coordinator, said the purpose of the visit was to familiarize the base‘s emergency first responders with different aspects of airborne emergency evacuations.

“We help to educate law enforcement, fire and EMS personnel about proper landing zone selection, how our helicopters are used and what patients will benefit the most from helicopter transport,” he said. “It‘s particularly important to show first responders how to function safely around the helicopter.”

Campbell said the training also included time in the classroom as well as the more hands-on approach.

“Training was conducted on two additional days to allow each shift of firefighters an opportunity to meet the LifeFlight crew and participate in the training,” he said.

At times, the helicopter pilot will keep the rotors turning while loading a patient.

“Every second counts when it comes to saving someone‘s life, but we have to be safe while expediting the trip to the hospital,” Campbell said.

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