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Green Lasers Targeting Air Ambulances: a Problem that Needs Solving in 2011

Green Lasers Targeting Air Ambulances: a Problem that Needs Solving in 2011

A very important topic in the air ambulance industry for 2011 is the burning issue of ground-to-air laser targeting of aircraft by civilians. In particular, February has seen no shortage of incidents regarding ordinary people carelessly endangering the lives of air medical crews and patients by pointing hand-held laser devices at aircraft.

Traveling at the speed of light, a laser beam in the aircraft gives no warning before it appears “out of nowhere,” making it a serious danger for air medical crews, who literally have no time to react to the situation.

“There is a general anger that someone could be so stupid to do such a thing to any aircraft, let alone the air ambulance,” says Carl Hudson, an air ambulance paramedic in the UK. (BBC News)

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Air Ambulance Lands on Runway without Front Landing Gear

Air Ambulance Lands on Runway without Front Landing Gear

Last week, in Arapahoe County, Colorado, the frightening events of an otherwise routine medical transport have been circulating around the country. An air ambulance pilot was forced to resort to emergency landing procedures – during the transport of a child patient.An air ambulance was transporting the child from Cortez, Colorado to Centennial Airport, on the outskirts of Denver. Six people were on board the King Air turboprop. The transport was going well, but as the pilot prepared to land, the front wheel of the plane refused to come down. Due to some kind of malfunction, the wheel would simply not deploy.

The pilot reported to the tower that the nose gear was not responding. They were forced to make a hard landing.

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Ohio-Based Life Air Inc. Acquired by Missouri-Based Air Evac

Life Air, an Ohio-based air ambulance service whose company roots stretch back twenty-six years to the creation of Life Ambulance Service Inc., has been acquired by Air Evac Lifeteam for an undisclosed sum.

A sister company of Life Ambulance Service, Life Air was incorporated in 2006 to provide rapid response services to nearby rural areas by utilizing air ambulances in addition to Life Ambulance’s ground response vehicles.

Air Evac Lifeteam, headquartered in West Plains, Missouri, is a service recognized for its services in rural areas. Air Evac’s President and CEO, Seth Myers, expects a seamless transition to take place, with personnel being unaffected and no service outages or interruptions. This is particularly relevant in the case of Air Evac, which provides services to some of its customers via a membership system that covers their service areas. This system is particularly well-suited for families who live far out in rural areas who may require being flown out by helicopter if they experience a life or limb-threatening medical emergency.

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AMPA Warns of Central American Cartels Using Air Ambulances to Transport Drugs

AMPA Warns of Central American Cartels Using Air Ambulances to Transport Drugs

At the most recent Air Medical Transport Conference, the Air Medical Physician Association (AMPA) board was informed of shocking recent developments that are seriously affecting air ambulances whose operations include transporting patients to and from Central America.

According to Dr. Eduardo Loyola, an AMPA member and medical director from Costa Rica, authorities in that country have discovered that drug cartels have begun to exploit air ambulances as part of their activities in Central America.

Dr. Loyola says the Costa Rican cartels have “discovered new and more sophisticated ways to support the logistics, fund the transport operations, and infiltrate key players” by using air medical operations.

When a helicopter used in air medical transport crashed recently in the Costa Rican jungle, it was discovered to have been carrying 400 kilos of cocaine on board.

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News Stations Across America Describe Air Ambulances as High-Altitude ICUs

Learjet at SunriseTwo days ago, Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords’ jet touched down on the runway at William P. Hobby Airport in Houston, Texas. She had been transported from Tucson to Houston for her rehabilitation via an air ambulance. A news media frenzy followed the countdown to her take-off to her safe, uneventful landing. For some individuals, this was the first time hearing the term “air ambulance.”

Immediately, online news outlets, television networks, and newspaper pages across the country lit up with gleaming-but-true descriptions of high-tech “flying intensive care units.”

“It may look like an ordinary Lear jet, but this aircraft is anything but ordinary,” came the words from Som Lisaius, a reporter for KOLD News 13 in Phoenix, Arizona, in a story titled “ICU at 6000 feet.”

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