Medevac pilot was told crew didn't 'w...

Medevac pilot was told crew didn't 'want to drive'

There are 11 comments on the Baltimore Sun story from Nov 1, 2008, titled Medevac pilot was told crew didn't 'want to drive'. In it, Baltimore Sun reports that:

The emergency operator who dispatched a medevac helicopter to Waldorf on a mission that ended in a fatal crash told the pilot that ambulance crews called for the aircraft because they "never want to drive to ...

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Baltimore Sun.


Mclean, VA

#1 Nov 1, 2008
The Sun’s determination to manufacture a story where there really is none is going to endanger lives. It is increasingly frustrating to hear them report as biblical fact off-hand comments by the dispatcher, when the dispatcher’s remarks were not supported by facts in the field and, I am guessing, just idle chatter that is often heard between everyone in the EMS community (e.g.,“oh, those EMT’s wouldn’t know the difference between triage and a threesome,” or “those guys couldn’t man a garden hose much less a 2” line”).

The initial assessment as a D means little. EMTs and medics are trained to constantly reassess based on mechanism of injury and the possibility of hidden trauma that cannot be easily diagnosed in the field. Bottom line is that patients are often, and should, be transported by air when the mechanism of injury is such that there is a 20% chance of life threatening internal injuries. That is, as many as 4 out 5 patients in those situations will have NO life threatening injury. Yet 1 out 5 will have significant chances of dying if not transporting quickly to a trauma center. In Charles County, as in much of Maryland, there is no means of getting quickly to a trauma center other than by air. Even in close in suburbs, when traffic is heavy, there is sometimes no quick means of transport other than by air.

Yes, people died in the Trooper 2 crash, but YES, it was worth it. Thousands of lives have been saved as a result of Maryland’s medivac program, and many of them showed no external signs of trauma that can be affirmatively diagnosed in the field.

It is time for the Sun to quit trying to wring water out of a dry towel. Let the EMTs, Medics, Troopers and Trauma teams do the great job they are known for doing. After all, my bet is that if were one their children that had a 20% chance of dying with out air transport, they would be screaming for a chopper.

Darlington, MD

#2 Nov 1, 2008
The truth will out. Maybe they shouldn't sign up for the rescue squad if driving to the hospital bores them.

Politically Incorrect

Carlisle, PA

#3 Nov 1, 2008
The results of the decisions are very clear. If they had it to do over, would they make the same decisions? Of course not.
Cest la vie

Baltimore, MD

#4 Nov 1, 2008
Doesn't surprise me to hear this was a Chuck County ambulance crew. Not one bit.

Hialeah, FL

#5 Nov 1, 2008
I am a licensed private pilot for 40 years. I feel terrible about this medivac crash with the loss of so many lives. I feel if more equipment was available to the pilot, this would not have happened. Save money cost lives. In addition, the persons deciding to call a medivac should spend some time to see if it is really required to have a helicopter for the patient. What about the quality of flight dispatch which is in addition to the pilots decision to fly in bad weather at night ?

Crofton, MD

#6 Nov 1, 2008
There is no question that, prior to this accident, the MSP helo's were over-used. I am not surprised about the comments about some ambulance operators not wanting to drive and problem is not confined to Waldorf or to Charles County. Except in extraordinary circumstances, the use of helo's within 30 miles of a shock-trauma center should be banned. Within that range, requesting a helo often delays delivery of the patient to the shock-trauma center, especially when the helo is not immediately available. There also has been insufficient attention given to the risks of using the helo's. The data in the article clearly show that many requests for helo's cannot be justified.

Towson, MD

#7 Nov 1, 2008
Yes. Too many choppers, already. Saw a women get picked up, just for a broken leg, in Hare ve de Grace. The hosptal was a block away!!!! They flew her to god knows where.It seemed a little pointless to me.

Ellicott City, MD

#8 Nov 1, 2008
Those who work in Charles County crews left PG County for a reason ... they didn't wish to drive there in a rainstorm. Let the State Medevac Chopper do it ... until a crash and 4 deaths forced everything into the open.

I hear King George County, VA on the other side of the Potomac has a nicer hospital ... in Fredericksburg with a ton of 2 lane back country roads to boot.

United States

#10 Nov 2, 2008
Hindsight is 20/20. Unfortunately this is a terrible accident, and cannot be undone. Whether these accident victims should or shouldn't have been transported by air, I hope MSP and EMS in the state really learn from this, and review there SOPs and see if something like this could be avoided in the future.

Vienna, VA

#11 Nov 2, 2008
Does waldorfs EMTs consist of a high percentage of diversity EEO hires? The slack attitude indicates so.
These choppers should be used in a less routine fashion. its not my job to second guess the emergency responders but like all government tools Im sure it gets abused or the cost of it forgotten. Ambulances are fine in most cases, if the traffic is in the way maybe we need more emergency centers or better ways to ease the traffic for the emergency vehicle. More sohulders of the road might help.

Towson, MD

#12 Nov 3, 2008
":Yeah, let's fly. I Know it's not a life and death emergency,But the tax payers will flip the bill , so who cares."
Far too expensive for us tax payers.I for one want my troopers on the ground and on the highways.Thier job should not be that of E.M.T.'s or hospital taxi's

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