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Special Operations

m. Emergency Situations

1. In the event of a helicopter accident in the

vicinity of the LZ, consider the following:

(a) Emergency Exits:

(1) Doors and emergency exits are typical-

ly prominently marked. If possible, operators should

familiarize ground responders with the door system

on their helicopter in preparation for an emergency


(2) In the event of an accident during the LZ

operation, be cautious of hazards such as sharp and

jagged metal, plastic windows, glass, any rotating

components, such as the rotors, and fire sources, such

as the fuel tank(s) and the engine.

(b) Fire Suppression:

Helicopters used in HEMS operations are usually

powered by turboshaft engines, which use jet fuel.

Civil HEMS aircraft typically carry between 50 and

250 gallons of fuel, depending upon the size of the

helicopter, and planned flight duration, and the fuel

remaining after flying to the scene. Use water to

control heat and use foam over fuel to keep vapors

from ignition sources.

10−2−4. Emergency Medical Service (EMS)

Multiple Helicopter Operations

a. Background. EMS helicopter operators often

overlap other EMS operator areas. Standardized

procedures can enhance the safety of operating

multiple helicopters to landing zones (LZs) and to

hospital heliports. Communication is the key to

successful operations and in maintaining organiza-

tion between helicopters, ground units and

communication centers. EMS helicopter operators

which operate in the same areas should establish joint

operating procedures and provide them to related


b. Recommended Procedures.

1. Landing Zone Operations. The first heli-

copter to arrive on−scene should establish

communications with the ground unit at least 10 NMs

from the LZ to receive a LZ briefing and to provide

ground control the number of helicopters that can be

expected. An attempt should be made to contact other

helicopters on 123.025 to pass on to them pertinent

LZ information and the ground unit’s frequency.

Subsequent helicopters arriving on scene should

establish communications on 123.025 at least 10

NMs from the LZ. After establishing contact on

123.025, they should contact the ground unit for

additional information. All helicopters should

monitor 123.025 at all times.

(a) If the landing zone is not established by

the ground unit when the first helicopter arrives,

then the first helicopter should establish altitude

and orbit location requirements for the other

arriving helicopters. Recommended altitude separa-

tion between helicopters is 500 feet (weather and

airspace permitting). Helicopters can orbit on

cardinal headings from the scene coordinates. (See

FIG 10−2−9.)

(b) Upon landing in the LZ, the first

helicopter should update the other helicopters on the

LZ conditions, i.e., space, hazards and terrain.

(c) Before initiating any helicopter move-

ment to leave the LZ, all operators should attempt to

contact other helicopters on 123.025, and state their

position and route of flight intentions for departing

the LZ.

2. Hospital Operations. Because many

hospitals require landing permission and have

established procedures (frequencies to monitor,

primary and secondary routes for approaches and

departures, and orbiting areas if the heliport is

occupied) pilots should always receive a briefing

from the appropriate facility (communication center,

flight following, etc.) before proceeding to the


(a) In the event of multiple helicopters

coming into the hospital heliport, the helicopter

nearest to the heliport should contact other inbound

helicopters on 123.025 and establish intentions.

Follow the guidelines established in the LZ


(b) To facilitate approach times, the pilot−in−

command of the helicopter occupying the hospital

heliport should advise any other operators whether

the patient will be off loaded with the rotor blades

turning or stopped, and the approximate time to do so.

(c) Before making any helicopter movement

to leave the hospital heliport, all operators should

attempt to contact other helicopters on 123.025 and

state their position and route of flight intentions for

departing the heliport.