1. #1
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    Default Med-Evac Landing Pad at Firehouse

    Just saw in the homepage photo article about the PA entrapment that the Med-Evac helicopter landed at the firehouse's landing pad. Must say that's a pretty ingenious idea...seems pretty simple but how many have actually incorporated that into their station design??? Med-Evac missions are considered some of the most dangerous from a flying perspective...hell, even combat jets take off from a fixed runway
    (on land, not talking about carriers..that's a whole other story)
    but Med-Evacs land practically ANYWHERE...many times not in the ideal setting for a helicopter but they do it.

    Having seen that, I was just curious how many other depts. have incorporated this into their station design. I know the local school districts here would love it 'cause they get ****ed when the Med-Evac chews up their football field/landing zone...I've heard of districts trying to block Med-Evacs from landing on their property but the P.O. telling them they will be locked up for "obstructing governmental administration" or the bolt cutters usually rectify that situation.

    Just curious to see what others are doing out there...Stay Safe.

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    We have 1 department in this area that has one, but I think that's it. We typically either just use the road/highway or an open field, depending where we're at........

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    Two of the three stations within our department have sufficient room to safely land a bird. The Service we use has come to our facilities and, although we don't have an official landing pad, has the coordinates logged. We have landed them there many times, and once the call is placed we don't have to set up any special LZ areas. This has worked very well for us as it leaves more personnel for treatment of the patient(s) or to transport others or run additional calls without relying on mutual-aide
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    Our #1 location is a service road @ the correctional center.

    Our #2 location is the Town's school complex -- nights and most weekends you can use the parking lot instead of the field.

    Then comes fields, which we will use when the circumstances are right.

    One thing to remember is you have to decide just how many functions you can or really want to cram into one spot -- having one place that's the community shelter/fire station/emergency operations center/clean water distribution site/helicopter landing pad/mutual aid level 2 staging/media pool may be a bit much.
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    Our main station has a large, level field nex to it. The Air Evac guys loved it when they first came to town and asked if they could use it as a landing site. We were happy to oblige and even cut a few trees on the perimeter in case they ever had to get a "running start" of sorts due to wind or loading. Other than that, we just keep it mowed. They usually drop by Sundays for breakfast while they get some mandated flight time out of the way. I like the idea of them being able to land in case it's ever for one of us . . .
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    Thanks for the input...Dal90, you make a valid point...cramming too many things into one location may not be the best idea...

    Stay Safe...

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    We have had Acadian AirMed 3 from Baton Rouge respond to our Main (manned) station on a few occassions to transport patients who had driven to our station. There's a large grass lot between our station and the Sheriffs sub-station which sits next to us. During daylight hours AirMed will land there. We've joked, half seriously, that if we paved the area and made it a designated landing pad we'd never have to worry about mowing all that grass again.
    Attached is a photo taken on one of the recent trips AirMed made to our station after the patient was transported by ground unit instead.
    From Left to right- Me, The Flight physician for AirMed, my Fire Chief who is head of the Paid FFs and volunteers, and 2 of our paid as well as volunteer members (Travis and Tonya).
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    Last edited by cellblock; 08-13-2004 at 03:51 PM.

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    Acadian Ambulance AirMed 3 on final approach to land behind our main fire station in St Gabriel, Louisiana. Swooping low over the St Gabriel Hardware store.
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    Touchdown. Perfect landing between the Iberville Parish Sheriff's substation and the East Iberville Volunteer Fire Department. Acadian Ambulance AirMed 3 is 10-97 (on scene).
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    In Montgomery County, Pa, Station 45 ( Spring Mill Fire Co. ) has a helicopter landing zone on their apron. The zone is marked off with white paint. The apron itself is huge.

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    Our old station 3 had a dedicated and licensed helicopter pad. It wasn't used at any emergency, the one time we had a pin-in in front of the station that could have been flown out Lifestar couldn't fly.

    It was used a lot by the Illinois State Police and a news copter put down with an emergency once.

    When we built our new station we didn't put in a pad.

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    There are 4 departments in the north end of the county that have designated LZ for MED-EVAC at thier station. The reason is that there are very few places easly accessed by air due to narrow roads and tall trees, and also the close hospital could be almost an hour away. The rest of the departments in the county can usually make due with the current location or somewhere close.

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    Gadsden County Florida has set up different LZs all around the county. They are in convinient locations and are easy to find and land in. Life Net out of Tallahassee, FL knows where all of the LZs are so all you have to do is tell 'land at LZ 6'. Landing Zone 6 is at our fire station. We don't have a pad for them to land on, but there is enough empty grass area to land them.

    I think it's a great place to land the helicopter, because it's conviniently located in an area where people often need to be air lifted from.
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    We'll land the thing anywhere there is a 60' x 75' clearing. They often put it down on the highway as well. There are a few big fields that serve no purpose that we sometimes use, as well as the school playing fields.

    Out station's parking lot is way too small and has power lines crossing it. It would be cool looking though to have a helipad painted in it
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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    We actually have a large Heli-Skiing operation right here in the center of our resort community, complete with four concrete pads, fuel depot, operations building, and enough extra room adjacent the pads to park about a dozen birds during major forestry operations.

    We try to use it when applicable, but we also have a half dozen heli-spots cleared around our mountain and golf course for those times when you just can't get close enough.

    The only downside is that we must use private pilots to transport to the local medical center 90% of the time, since the local professional medivac service (STARS - out of Calgary) won't quite come this far into BC, and won't land here at night either.
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    Originally posted by mcaldwell The only downside is that we must use private pilots to transport to the local medical center 90% of the time, since the local professional medivac service (STARS - out of Calgary) won't quite come this far into BC, and won't land here at night either.
    Uh oh. Que the "personal vehicles responding to the scene of a call" argument!!! Does the personal pilot have blue lights on the dash of his helicopter?
    Last edited by nmfire; 08-16-2004 at 06:11 PM.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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    We have a heli-pad built behind our station, and we are only 350 yards from the hospital. They did not have room for it at the hospital so when we built our new station (c/w police,fire,ambulance) we decided that a pad would be a good addition and it gets used ~1-2 a month. Stars (Shock Trama Air Rescue Society) pilots can land their birds (Eurocopter BK117) virtually anywhere, those guys are awesome. Our heli-pad is a registered Aerodrome certified by Transport Canada.

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    Our Station 1 is a designated landing zone for STAT Medevac. The parking lot out front is approximately 500x500 square, with the station sitting square in the middle of the very back part of the cube. Behind the station is 4 acres worth of wooded areas, but directly to the left of the station is about a 2 x 2 acre square that is the side parking lot and yard(the station was designed to be expanded with additional bays to accomodate departmental growth when it was built in the suburban neighborhood approximately 10 years ago).

    But no, we don't have a big H in the middle of the parking lot, though I'm sure we have some wackers that would want to put one out there(along with restoring blue lights).

    At our other station, however, I doubt you could land a baseball without hitting a tree or power line.

    One interesting thing we did was go out when the township first hired us paid firefighters and designated 30some designated landing zones for the medevac service. No landing on the highway for us unless it's on the fringes of the district. Plus, it saves Joe Jamoke fireman who doesn't have one of our GPS units the trouble. He can just say 'Send STAT to landing zone 33" or whatever.

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    We do not have a dedicated landing pad per se at out station, however the Homeowner next door has a LARGE front yard and we have secured his permission to use that if need be. We could also use the concrete apron to the building depending on what vehicles are parked where.

    One additional point to consider. Our service area is 79.8 square miles all most all of which is rural and the vast majority is anything from foothills to mountains. We do not have the luxury of being able to transport to 1 dedicated landing area.

    We are however fortunate enough to be serviced by no less than 3 Medivac services. 2 of these services do not have the ability to communicate directly with us and all information has to be relayed from our dispatcher to theirs, therefore we have gone out and pre-selected strategic areas that make good landing zones (School parking lot / ball field, hay fields, open intersections in the road, etc.). We have secured all needed permissions to use these areas in the event of an emergency and have pre-mapped them with a GPS unit. We keep a list of all these sites on every Fire & EMS rig as well as copies at both the Fire & EMS stations.

    This approach was adopted county wide so the dispatch office also has master books with each districts LZ's and coordinates. All we have to do is request a chopper & tell the dispatcher what LZ site we will be using and they take care of the rest.

    This approach greatly reduces the amount of apparatus & manpower needed to establish an LZ. In some cases the chopper has located the LZ & touched down before we could get a unit on site @ the LZ.
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    Originally posted by nmfire


    Uh oh. Que the "personal vehicles responding to the scene of a call" argument!!! Does the personal pilot have blue lights on the dash of his helicopter?
    Here in Louisiana only the Police helicopters can have blue. AirMed has to use red lights. The helicopters used by Entergy, Demco, Georga Gulf and other power companies to inspect and maintain high voltage power lines can only use amber.

    sorry. i couldn't resist.

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    Originally posted by nmfire


    Uh oh. Que the "personal vehicles responding to the scene of a call" argument!!! Does the personal pilot have blue lights on the dash of his helicopter?
    No, but one pilot's got a red & white A-star with the standard red and white blinkies on the fuselage. In the world of private helo's, it definitely looks whackeriffic. Maybe we could loan him the siren off the old bush engine.
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    I am dispather for one of the largest medical helicopter services in the US. we dispatch for most of the east coast midwest Cali, AZ. I personally think LZ s at fire stations is a great idea not only does it free up equipment it provides a safe place for the copter to land. Most scenes are hectic alot of emergancy equipment alot of lights,wires, traffic, gawkers ect you get my point i dispatch for Az one of our helicopters is based at a fire station. Alot of times the squad just trx the pt to the station they can load and go. Its not always an option but should be thought about in the planning in most big cities imagine trying to land in an intersection or the front of a house. Next when calling for a helicopter next to the green house or but the red truck under the oak tree are not very helpful.i live in Omaha Neb have probably never been to your town try to give a major intersection big open lot express to 911 dispatch to try to be accurate in locations any 180 x 180 ft open space no wires its generally acceptable look around can you trx to a parking lot or open field.Next dont shine the spot light at the pilot he will not be very impressed with you 1800 candle watt spot light you just blinded him he is flying in pitch black then you light him up can you hit the toilet when you walk into bathroom from pitch black and flick on light .Next only if absolutily have to send more than 2 people to help move pt towards A/C pilot is watching to make sure no one walks into tail rotor and its like watching a group of sixth graders at a canteen. If you want to see the copter call set up a pr and take a look there not on a scene Iam sure most of this is known and sounds simple but we hear alot of stories of what happens on scene and we just sit in amazment Be safe hold onto your lids keep low and for gods sakes be careful out there ps our brothers from Philly may god be with you and god bless your families we shall never forget

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    Originally posted by bvfdfirefighter
    Next when calling for a helicopter next to the green house or but the red truck under the oak tree are not very helpful.i live in Omaha Neb have probably never been to your town try to give a major intersection big open lot express to 911 dispatch to try to be accurate in locations any 180 x 180 ft open space no wires its generally acceptable look around can you trx to a parking lot or open field.Next dont shine the spot light at the pilot he will not be very impressed with you 1800 candle watt spot light you just blinded him he is flying in pitch black then you light him up can you hit the toilet when you walk into bathroom from pitch black and flick on light .Next only if absolutily have to send more than 2 people to help move pt towards A/C pilot is watching to make sure no one walks into tail rotor and its like watching a group of sixth graders at a canteen. If you want to see the copter call set up a pr and take a look there not on a scene Iam sure most of this is known and sounds simple but we hear alot of stories of what happens on scene and we just sit in amazment Be safe hold onto your lids keep low and for gods sakes be careful out there ps our brothers from Philly may god be with you and god bless your families we shall never forget
    bvfdfirefighter, I know it's 4am, but please, punctuation makes your posts much more readable. those little periods and commas make it so much clearer, and also add to your credibility as a professional.
    the above quote only has 3 periods!!!

    that being said, landing zones are firehouses are an interesting idea. personally, I think people need to preplan your entire coverage area with as many potential zones as you can find. if your firehouse is one of them, so be it. but if you can get a closer one, all the better.
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    in most big cities imagine trying to land in an intersection or the front of a house
    I would bet, most big cities have a trauma center nearby and don't need a helicopter.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

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    Originally posted by Bones42
    I would bet, most big cities have a trauma center nearby and don't need a helicopter.
    Toledo isn't a "big, big" city, but we have 3 Trauma Hospitals and 2 Pediatric Hospitals, all within about 5 miles of each other....... Yoou wanna talk about duplication of services.......

    Oh yeah, we also have 2 Air bulance Services, with a total of 7 helicopters spaced throughout NW Ohio......

    Both services are ran by hospitals, which are competitors....... Promedica Health Systems and Mercy Health Partners.......

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