The afternoon ended with me asking the pilot to depart the area flying low, to the north and just over the old burn building. I was thankful when he agreed to comply with my request.
The afternoon started with a classroom session, taught by an Area Business Manager from Mercy Air, a division of Air Methods.
The occasion was was the weekly meeting of our explorer post. The post advisers had made arrangements with Mercy Air to give a class and demo for the post. Needless to say, attendance was high. Everybody it seems, loves helicopters. As many of you know, I love helicopters as well..
After the classroom session, the post went to an area near the maintenance shop and watched the arrival of the helicopter.
I, being somewhat trainable, took up position behind a convenient Volkswagen and recorded the event.
The helicopter came in with three people on board, the pilot, a flight nurse and a medic. They spent about an hour showcasing their equipment and answering questions. Needless to say, the presentation was well received.
After the presentation, it was time for the obligatory posed photos, in reality the reason that I was invited to the event. (trust me, I don't mind in the least)
After the photos, I and a couple of the parents hoofed it back to the tower and went to the fourth floor landing where we waited for the departure of the helicopter. Thanks to the agreeable pilot, we were not disappointed.
It was a great opportunity for the explorers to see what a med-evac helicopter is all about. We rarely use helicopters for transport, we have three hospitals in town including a level-two trauma center. Occasionally, a burn patient or head trauma patient may get flown to the regional medical center or to the burn unit in the next county. Even those occasions are very rare.
Our P.D. helicopter has the capability of placing a special stretcher in it and flying a patient. As it is not an air ambulance, it is not used for transporting patients to the hospital. I have used it a few times to fly a patient out of an area where vehicles cannot travel and flying them to an LZ where an ambulance then takes over and transports. That is a handy capability when dealing with spinal injury patients who are down in the river bottom or the wildlife sanctuary. Flying is usually a lot smoother ride than being carried by six firefighters.
Some day, some of these explorers will likely be incident commanders on major medical incidents. The seeds planted by Mercy Air at this class just may germinate and produce some business. Regardless, it was a great display of goodwill toward our explorers and is greatly appreciated. Thanks to Mercy Air and most of all, thanks to you for reading.