Air Evac Lifeteam has a lot of safety measures in place to make sure an accident or crash doesn't happen.
Tom Baldwin, the Interim Director of Safety for Air Evac Lifeteam said there is a mechanic at every base. He looks at the helicopters every day to ensure everything is working property. However, the mechanic isn't the only one looking at the aircraft on a daily basis.
"The pilot is also required to do a daily preflight check," Baldwin said.
They are checking fuel levels, paneling, warning and alert systems and more. This can take 35 minutes to an hour.
Baldwin said most of the components of the helicopter are time specific. This means once they have reached their allocated time, they are removed from service. Baldwin said all of the aircrafts they use are bought new to make sure they can last and to ensure patients they are using the best quality.
They also make sure the staff they hire is the best quality. Baldwin said pilots normally have 5,700 flight hours logged before they apply. This is about 10-15 years of experience.
The paramedics and nurses are also required to have three to five years of experience or critical care. This means they have worked in the ER, the ICU or 911 calls. However, since the job is so competitive, most of them wait until they have 10-15 years of experience before applying.
Once they are hired, they will have to go through additional training through the Air Evac Lifeteam. Pilots will go through a 20 day training program at their headquarters in Missouri. Then they will be assigned to a base. Once they arrive at the base, they will go through area training. This is to get them familiar with the area they are working in. Usually this means they will go over flight patterns.
Just like any aircraft that you would fly on to take a vacation, the helicopters are FAA regulated. This is why there are so many safety procedures in place.
Once they have completed their training, they will go through refreshers every four months to make sure they are up to date on procedures, licenses, and safety measures.
It's all to ensure a safe flight with the best care possible.