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  1. #21
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    I think it is a good idea to "pop" smoke during the day so the pilot can, 1. locate L.Z. easier, 2. has an idea what the wind is doing at ground level. The smoke grenade/bombs that paintballers use for a smoke screen can last up to five minutes, so pop it 3 minutes or so before the aircraft lands.


  2. #22
    Forum Member Weruj1's Avatar
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    around here that has never been mentioned or suggested by the Helos that teach the LZ classes. I would check with them first before actual application.
    IACOJ both divisions and PROUD OF IT !
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    I'm sorry, I haven't been paying much attention for the last 3 hours.....what were we discussing?
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  3. #23
    Forum Member Dave1983's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SSHANK42
    I think it is a good idea to "pop" smoke during the day so the pilot can, 1. locate L.Z. easier, 2. has an idea what the wind is doing at ground level. The smoke grenade/bombs that paintballers use for a smoke screen can last up to five minutes, so pop it 3 minutes or so before the aircraft lands.

    Save the money your spending on smoke bombs and invest in a basic handheld GPS. All you have to do is radio your GPS numbers to the air ship and they will never miss you.
    Fire Marshal/Safety Officer

    IAAI-NFPA-IAFC/VCOS-Retired IAFF

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    Failure is when fantasy meets reality

  4. #24
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    We have and use GPS's. Have had times where the helicopter flies pass and did not see us. If I was guessing the GPS reading was not relayed correctly from our dispatch to the aircraft's dispatch. A couple of dept. in the county use the smoke bombs and stated that the pilots liked them, especially for the wind direction. Of course the bombs are set at a safe distance from the L.Z.

  5. #25
    Let's talk fire trucks! BoxAlarm187's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SSHANK42
    If I was guessing the GPS reading was not relayed correctly from our dispatch to the aircraft's dispatch.
    Do you not have a way to communicate directly with the helo?

  6. #26
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    The two service that we deal with are 50 miles or more from us. It is difficult for use to talk to the aircrafts. They met with use and we gave them our freq. with the PL and they said no problem. Well after we had things agreed upon the very next time we try to talk them into the LZ we could not. Now they tell us they cannot do our digital PL code. So now the aircraft wants us to use a freq. they have. All well and good if we could get all the FD's and ambulances in the county to program their radio's. Yeah, like that would ever happen. It is a major problem that we have to fix. We do have designated LZ's now which is a big help. This way the pilots have a description of the LZ without talking to us. We use helicopters often. The nearest hospital to us is 30 miles away and is just above a veternerian office skill level.

  7. #27
    Forum Member nmfire's Avatar
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    The older model Wulfsberg Flexcomm multi-band radios that many helicopters have are not capable of DPL. The things can do everything else under the sun of course, just not DPL. The newer models of the Wulfsberg multi-band radio does do DPL if you buy the add-on board.

    We use cones to mark the LZ during the day and small ground strobes at night. The minimum is 75x80 I think, but it of course can be bigger. We will relay coordinates through dispatch and the helicoter will contact us on whatever frequency & PL/DPL we want. They have one one file and will go to that. We can direct them to another if needed.

    Engine with at least 2 packed up FF's and a handline standing by is the protocol.
    Last edited by nmfire; 12-03-2005 at 08:33 AM.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

  8. #28
    Forum Member medicmaster's Avatar
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    As a part-time member of a HEMS program....

    DO NOT pop smoke...this can potnetially blind the pilot

    DO NOT use cones...they blow over/away in the rotor wash

    DO NOT use flairs...they can start a grass/vegetation fire

    DO use LZ marker strobes...preferrably 4 orange or red lenses marking the perimeter a minimum of 60x60 in daylight and 100x100 at night. Also use a clear or green lens strobe if possible to indicate wind direction.

    DON'T try to use hand signals to the pilot...unless you have specific training by your local HEMS program to do this. Maintain radio silence with the pilot unless warning him about a hazard....landing is the most attention requiring part of the flight.

    Stage an Engine, but don't park it too close to the LZ, and as stated, it is a good idea to be in full PPE, but don't pull/charge a line unless needed.

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by medicmaster
    DO NOT pop smoke...this can potnetially blind the pilot
    Could, but the last time I checked so can dust in a field. Still not an ideal use, but if you have pilots that came from the military, some love it.
    DO NOT use cones...they blow over/away in the rotor wash
    Some departments have to, there are ways to secure them though.
    DO NOT use flares...they can start a grass/vegetation fire
    Yes, but if your stupid enough to place a burning 2,000* flare into dry grass without expecting to start a fire....
    DO use LZ marker strobes...preferrably 4 orange or red lenses marking the perimeter a minimum of 60x60 in daylight and 100x100 at night. Also use a clear or green lens strobe if possible to indicate wind direction.
    Day or night, the pilot should be able to pick them out.
    DON'T try to use hand signals to the pilot...unless you have specific training by your local HEMS program to do this. Maintain radio silence with the pilot unless warning him about a hazard....landing is the most attention requiring part of the flight.
    The pilot can land the ship without assistance, they don't need a wannabe ATC trying to give him clearance to land or direct them down.
    Stage an Engine, but don't park it too close to the LZ, and as stated, it is a good idea to be in full PPE, but don't pull/charge a line unless needed.
    Yes, and if you have a chance to, learn about the aircrafts OWN firefighting capability should they have an on board fire, and how the pilot want's it dealt with should they have one, rememer it's THEIR ship, and chances are, most of us don't know bubkus about ARFF.
    FF/NREMT-B

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  10. #30
    MembersZone Subscriber dmleblanc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by medicmaster
    DON'T try to use hand signals to the pilot...unless you have specific training by your local HEMS program to do this. Maintain radio silence with the pilot unless warning him about a hazard....landing is the most attention requiring part of the flight.

    .
    Agreed, with one exception (how we were taught, anyway)....We are allowed to wave off or abort the landing if we see something going wrong that the pilot might not. There may not be time to make the radio call in the last few seconds before touchdown. That would be the only hand signal we would ever use (and I've never seen it used...)
    Chief Dwayne LeBlanc
    Paincourtville Volunteer Fire Department
    Paincourtville, LA

    "I have a dream. It's not a big dream, it's just a little dream. My dream — and I hope you don't find this too crazy — is that I would like the people of this community to feel that if, God forbid, there were a fire, calling the fire department would actually be a wise thing to do. You can't have people, if their houses are burning down, saying, 'Whatever you do, don't call the fire department!' That would be bad."
    — C.D. Bales, "Roxanne"

  11. #31
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    I have been out on numerous Medevacs and spoke with the pilots directly and depending on if it is Northstar or Southstar their procedures are almost the same.

    1 - 100x100 recommended if you have the room
    2 - no white lights pointed at the copter / LZ
    3 - Recommend using flares
    4 - DO NOT PULL A LINE
    5 - Do not try to give the GPS locations, because they will not use. They will acknowledge that you gave them but they will not use. Their base gives them the coordinates.
    6 - When they arrive on location they will ask if there is something they need to know about.
    7 - Usually they Circle a few times to check the area.

    They say not to pull a line because if they are going to crash they will most likely try to crash away from you and the line will inhibit you from getting to them fast.

    We usually keep all red warning lights on until they arrive in the area, then when they are preparing to land we shut all lights on and leave flares burning.

    The reasoning behind the flares is because at night they can see the light for a mile or so depending on weather.

    Now the above is from a few Northstar Pilots, your best best is to ask for the class.

    -Thanks Steve

  12. #32
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    ff, I work for an ambulance svc. in S.E. KY. On my off nights I respond to most sceneflight requests as 1 of our LZ coordinators for extrications,gunshots,etc. in our county. Always have 1 person in charge, only that person talks to the helicopter crew until they are on the ground unless a hazzard is observed, or a pt report is asked for. Always walk the LZ for hazards. position a veh. w/headlights on under @ parallel to any power/phone lines etc. strobe LZ light kit if avail.to mark the LZ, if no strobe kit then 2 veh. w/headlights on positioned @ 2 corners of LZ w/headlights crossing in the middle. We have started making pre-set LZ's by using GPS for recording coordinates and taking digital pics from the ground of the LZ and landmarks, buildings,hazards etc. We then send this info to aeromedical svcs. they put into a binder & when returning from flights during the day they use this info to familiarize themselves with the LZ's and they taks pics from the air to add to their folder. Also ask aeromedical to practice with your members at least quarterly. Get to know them very well, practice and familiarity makes things run safely/smoothly.gp-377

  13. #33
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    Per our local aero service:

    use flares - absolutely NO strobes. (never had a problem with blowing over or starting fires, etc.)
    no upward facing lights
    no charged lines
    gps if available
    LZ officer on radio to converse with ship.
    majority of patients are hot-loaded.
    Last edited by MEAN15; 12-29-2005 at 09:30 PM.

  14. #34
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    Is it just me or is it painfully obvious that each part of the country does things differently based upon the Air Medical Provider they work with. While alot of what has been said is standard amongst the services, some is not. Charged line, no charged line, pumper at the LZ, pumper 1 block away, use cones, don't use cones. No one department is right and none are wrong for doing what they consider safe and that their AMP requests. We work with 3 AMP's in Fort Bend County on the SW Border of Houston. When the other 2 came into being in our area they had their own preferences for LZ's. All the Fire Department's in the county told them look, we have been working with Herman Life Flight for decades and now we need to change? Guess again, the other 2 AMP's got with Herman and now they all expect the same LZ's. We have established a very good relationship with them and we have little to no problems.

    Also, never use the term "Bovine" on the radio when talking to the pilot. LOL. It took the pilot about 3 tries to talk to me because he was laughing when I told him to avoid the adjacent field to the designated LZ due to "Roving Bovine".
    Stay low and move it in.

    Be safe.


    Larry

  15. #35
    Forum Member nmfire's Avatar
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    "Be advised, there are adjacent cows! Repeat, we have adjacent cows!! Abort and go 'round!!!!"
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

  16. #36
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    Exclamation LZ advice

    Thanks to everyone who responded to my thread. I have passed this information on to my chief and other personnel of importance. I would like to share with you an event that happened a while back that required the use of a landing zone for a Medivac landing:

    Last March, I believe it was on a Saturday, I was not around at the time but I had my radio and pager on me and our squad was hit out for a 10 year old male who was from what I remember was unconsious and had a possible head injury from falling from an unknown amount of feet from either a set of stairs or a tree.
    The paramedics were also requested to respond due to the severity of the injury and the nature of the call. I believe Medic 2 from Morristown Memorial Hospital in Morristown New Jersey responded to the call. From what I can remember from that day, I don't know if one of the EMT's that were on scence requested Northstar to respond but they were also requested to respoond also at that time.
    The dispatcher that was working the desk that day, called for the helicopter and then we were hit out to set up an LZ for an impending Northstar landing. Both my company and our sister company responded to our local middle school to set up the landing zone. We responed with the following:

    1-Engine from my dept

    1 - Rescue Truck from my dept

    1 - Ladder Truck from our sister company

    And officers from both companys responded also.

    During the course of everyone setting up the landing zone, my Fire Chief toled the driver of our engine to back up onto the lawn of the middle school, now knowing that it rained the past few days and the first attempt they got the truck only 1/2 way in and when they tried a second time, the driver dropped the hammer and floored it in reverse and got the truck stuck in a foot and a half of mud and it was everywhere, all over the truck and it was stuck for good, all the way into the axels.
    So after that lovely event, the LZ was all set up, the helicoper did a fly by and after then came back around, they were in the process of making their final approach and the medics CANCLED the helicopter and instead of transporting by air to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick by Northstar, they transported the young man by ground ambulance with the medic truck following the rig to Morristown Memorial Hospital in Morristown New Jersey.
    I don't know what happened the rest of the day, I do not know if the child was admitted but god I hope he made it. So after we got the truck stuck in the mud, we had to call for a hook to yank the truck out.
    I wonder who foots that bill?

    And finally, I leave you with this tidbit of advice -

    "There are idiots in the world, even in the fire service!"

  17. #37
    Forum Member Engine305's Avatar
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    Default Medevac Landings

    We use Northstar, Westchester County and the lil one from Pa. Most of the time they fly into our general aviation airport. When they do, it is a full nights sleep for us because the crews have told us that because its an airport, we dont need you all to come out unless we crash and then there is lots of time to put out the ashes. On remote sites we always get dispatched but..
    No lines on ground, crew in SCBA and ready , and crew stays on trucks near the LZ

  18. #38
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    Cool My L.Z. thoughts.......

    Great advice I agree that a class/training with your Air Ambulance provider is an often over-looked tool; if you wanna know what they want, then ask 'em. Our Air Ambulance provider asks us to provide:

    At a minimum, 100' X 100' area to land in.
    Secure the L.Z.
    It's okay to have all the lights on untill the Air Ambulance is on final, once that happens, shut 'em down.
    When asked, please have a good description of the L.Z.
    Area: such as in the parking lot, or in the field.....
    Hazards: light poles, uneven terrain, etc.
    Estimated wind speed: include gusts speeds
    Pt. info: weight (especially when meds are involved), C/C and weither the pt. will need R.S.R.
    As an additional I usually tell 'em what type of surface they will be landing on: paved road, dirt road, etc.

    I use the acronym: SHAPE..... Surface
    Hazards
    Area
    Pt info.
    Estimated wind speed

    This is just what I use...... put as many minds together and come up with something that will work for your area.
    "Be LOUD, Be PROUD..... It just might save your can someday when goin' through an intersection!!!!!"

    Life on the Truck (Quint) is good.....

    Eat til you're sleepy..... Sleep til you're hungry..... And repeat.....

  19. #39
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    Cool Just a thougt.....

    Just had another thought.......... What do you feel about using units without Class B foam for landing Air Ambulances?

    I will request a unit with Class B foam, since if the aircraft does go down that is the type of fire that will be encountered....... just curious what other professionals think.
    "Be LOUD, Be PROUD..... It just might save your can someday when goin' through an intersection!!!!!"

    Life on the Truck (Quint) is good.....

    Eat til you're sleepy..... Sleep til you're hungry..... And repeat.....

  20. #40
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    Around here anybody can be LZ even an officer in a pickup.

    It doesn't take a fire engine to land a helicopter. Helicopters land at remote sites all the time with no assistance. That is what they are made for.

    We secure the area from wandering animals/people, advise of hazards, etc. If you do have an engine you can make a dusty area better by watering the ground so that is one advantage to having water.

    Birken

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