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Safety Precautions in Critical Care Transport


Safety is the top priority for Children's Mercy Critical Care Transport. Safety awareness is integrated into all aspects of the transport program. Each day people entrust the transport teams with their lives and the lives of their loved ones. We believe we must always be worthy of that trust.

It is important for the facilities requesting transport and the public to understand the essential elements to ensure safe operations of the helicopter in and around helipads. Children's Mercy Critical Care Transport utilizes the following minimum-required safety precautions. Participating hospitals in conjunction with Children's Mercy Critical Care Transport may implement additional precautions as required.

  • Hospital authorities must make frequent, regular inspections of the helipad to ensure that all loose items are moved out to a safe distance and/or secured in place. All items must be considered. Construction areas are given particular attention. Unsecured items can be blown and cause injury.

  • Hospital personnel or local law enforcement should establish a safety perimeter to keep unauthorized personnel at a safe distance; 200 feet is usually sufficient for people in an open area. It is the best practice to stay indoors or in vehicles during helicopter take-off and landing.

  • A fire extinguisher should be located at the pad and ready for use.

  • No one is allowed on the helipad during take-offs and landings.

  • Do not approach the helicopter, unless signaled to do so by the pilot. Unless you are asked to help, please stay outside the safety perimeter.

  • The team may depart the helicopter while the rotors are still turning. Normally they will require additional assistance to load or unload the helicopter once the aircraft is shut down. If you are requested to approach the helicopter, proceed as follows:

    • Only approach when instructed by the pilot or flight team. Only authorized personnel will be allowed in the landing area.

      Safety zone
    • Never lift anything above your head. Hold long objects horizontally.

    • Always let a crew member open and close doors and compartments on the aircraft.

    • No running within 50 feet of the helicopter.

    • No vehicle should be driven closer than 50 feet of the aircraft. Do not back up towards the helicopter. Do not drive behind the helicopter in the vicinity of the tail rotor.

Night operations:

  • Do not shine lights directly at the helicopter.

  • If helipad is unlit, emergency vehicles may be parked so their low-beam headlights intersect the landing site and/or parked under wires to mark them.

  • Lights may be shined onto poles indicating wires between the poles. 

Children's Mercy Critical Care Transport is firmly committed to maintaining a safe and healthy working environment. There are no excuses for unsafe practices. It is our policy to strive for the highest standards of quality on all transports. The success of any safety program depends on the safety consciousness and cooperation of everyone in the organization. The goal is ZERO accidents.

Learn more about ongoing safety initiatives through the LifeFlight Eagle Safety Network.