Flightmed archive for January-2002
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Flightmed archive for January-2002

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RE: Response times and safety

I don't have a firmly entrenched opinion on the topic of response times
versus safety in the air medical arena, but similar issues have arisen in
other industries.

Now I don't want anyone thinking I'm comparing the professionalism of flight
crews with those of pizza delivery folks, but Domino's Pizza lost a number
of high-dollar lawsuits a couple years ago and the cases were built around a
theory that Domino's thirty-minute delivery guarantee was causing their
delivery folks to use poor judgement in operating their vehicles and
accidents resulted.

Generally, I think air medical crews have the wisdom and experience to
operate safely even in an environment where response time is king.  However,
over the years I've seen enough safety lapses as people run towards the
aircraft in a rush to get off the ground that I think there is reason to be

Any program I've been associated with has had some sort of response time
expectation and flights for which the response time falls outside the limit
are flagged for review.  Typical expected liftoff times for fully staffed
aircraft have been around 7 minutes for rotor-wing or 30 minutes for

I think the key is what happens when the flights are reviewed.  If the
review is handled in a professional and positive manner within a QA context
and with a view towards identifying operational factors that might be
addressed, it represents no threat to safety.

On the other hand, if the review occurs within the context of a personnel
performance review or otherwise threatens job security, I think it can be a
detriment to safety.



Paul M. Wright, Jr.
Mesa, AZ

> -----Original Message-----
> From: flightmed-admin@flightweb.com
> [mailto:flightmed-admin@flightweb.com]On Behalf Of Snow, Mona G
> Sent: Monday, January 07, 2002 9:10 AM
> To: 'flightmed@flightweb.com'
> Subject: Response times and safety
> It is my understanding that "they", whomever they might be, are looking at
> response times for helos in regards to safety issues. I have heard that
> having response times to adhere to is causing safety concerns. I couldn't
> find any research on this and was wondering if anyone had any information.
> Also, do the other programs have policies on response times (both
> scene and
> interfacility) that they are willing to share. Anyone's thoughts/opinions
> are welcome.
> Thanks you,
> M. Snow
> Pegasus Flight Operations
> _______________________________________________
> Flightmed mailing list

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