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Hot Off Loading And Hot Loading...danger?


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#1 jpd9191

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Posted 11 April 2015 - 05:11 AM



Are there any good ideas or reasons why, when landing an EC135 or an A109 power, to have crew jump out hot during scene responses. The blades are still running, a person or two gets out and walks to the rig.

Hot loading, which I have not done, should speed up scene times buy having the aircraft spinning and ready to go. Is this a safe, simple assumption on how hot loading helps the patient?

My questions are basic:

I have almost a zero chance of hitting a blade when they are not moving, but I do have much better chance when they are circleing around. Is a risk from zero to a much increased number worth having crew leave when the blades are running when shutting down takes less than two minutes?

Putting a patient into a helicopter, while shut down, allows for a normal voice (and a zero risk of hitting a blade) to help direct poeple on how to get the pt in when the helping group might have no clue how to put someone on the stretcher, etc. now you have the blades spinning, it is dark, the ground is wet, the EC stretcher is stuck in the mud and to provide direction, one really needs to yell. Stress level is increased vs. cold loading. Not to mention the risk increase. Is hot loading worth the increased risk in an all ready extremely risky business?

Does hot loading matter?
Is hot loading just so cool?
Does hot unloading and running to the scene while the rotors are spinning look awesome?
Does hot unloading and hot loading safe time?
Is the really a worth doing in a 'risk vs. benefit' comparison?
Does hot off/on loading appear to scene crews as a great time saving ordeal?

Thanks for reading
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#2 Mike Mims

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Posted 12 April 2015 - 03:04 AM

I can only speak from my experience with EC135 and EC145 which both have a start-up/shut down time of ~ 45 sec or so.

 

So, I can give you some reason from a parts replacement point-of-view, because every start up and shut down puts an additional "cycle" on parts (which a majority have a certain number then they need to be replaced) as you are going through your start-up sequence is when you are most likely to have an issues. (starter ie; failure-to-start, generator, ignitor, fuel pump etc...)

 

I'm not sure how tall you are, but the chances of you getting hit with the main rotor is almost none even at idle, the blades are ~ 11 feet in height on the 135 and 145.

I don't know anything on the 109's.  The tail rotor for the 145 is ~ 6ft

 

Does hot loading matter? If done safely and correctly, it may be a benefit not only with time, but other factors as well

Is hot loading just so cool? I'm not sure I would say most crew members see it as "cool" maybe the public?

Does hot unloading and running to the scene while the rotors are spinning look awesome? I'm sure the bystanders that are taking pics and/or shooting video may think so.  Me, not so much.

Does hot unloading and hot loading safe time? Yes, but not much, it's the other factors that may need to be included in the debate.

Is the really a worth doing in a 'risk vs. benefit' comparison? That is going to be a factor that will change at every scene, depending on a lot of things like:

- Personnel that set up your LZ

- Pt condition

​- ALS/EMS capabilities 

- How far is the pt from the LZ

Does hot off/on loading appear to scene crews as a great time saving ordeal? For me, it depends.  We may shut down, we may stay running.  We shut down today because we rendezvous at a local airport...... 

There just can not be a "Do this every time" rule, because scene flights are all different.  Good example is what you gave:  Night, wet ground, stretcher stuck in mud you may choose to shut down.

 

​What I do every-time, is when we do stay hot on scene, I will shut all the doors including the rear clams, because if the pilot needs to lift for any reason he can........  they can't so much with cabin and/or clam doors open.......


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Mike Mims

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University of Mississippi Medical Center


#3 old school

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Posted 12 April 2015 - 12:50 PM

Are there any good ideas or reasons why, when landing an EC135 or an A109 power, to have crew jump out hot during scene responses. The blades are still running, a person or two gets out and walks to the rig.

Hot loading, which I have not done, should speed up scene times buy having the aircraft spinning and ready to go. Is this a safe, simple assumption on how hot loading helps the patient?

My questions are basic:

I have almost a zero chance of hitting a blade when they are not moving, but I do have much better chance when they are circleing around. Is a risk from zero to a much increased number worth having crew leave when the blades are running when shutting down takes less than two minutes?

Putting a patient into a helicopter, while shut down, allows for a normal voice (and a zero risk of hitting a blade) to help direct poeple on how to get the pt in when the helping group might have no clue how to put someone on the stretcher, etc. now you have the blades spinning, it is dark, the ground is wet, the EC stretcher is stuck in the mud and to provide direction, one really needs to yell. Stress level is increased vs. cold loading. Not to mention the risk increase. Is hot loading worth the increased risk in an all ready extremely risky business?

Does hot loading matter?
Is hot loading just so cool?
Does hot unloading and running to the scene while the rotors are spinning look awesome?
Does hot unloading and hot loading safe time?
Is the really a worth doing in a 'risk vs. benefit' comparison?
Does hot off/on loading appear to scene crews as a great time saving ordeal?

Thanks for reading

 

Yes, hot loads and offloads are done only because they are "just so cool" and "look awesome".  

 

Looking cool and awesome is the only thing you ever need to worry about to in HEMS, even when you are busy caring for a sick patient. 


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bring it in for the real thing

#4 jpd9191

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Posted 16 April 2015 - 04:41 AM

Yes, hot loads and offloads are done only because they are "just so cool" and "look awesome".  
 
Looking cool and awesome is the only thing you ever need to worry about to in HEMS, even when you are busy caring for a sick patient.



Glad you noticed the thick sarcasm related to when perception trumps safety and great patient care.
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#5 old school

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Posted 18 April 2015 - 08:24 PM

Glad you noticed the thick sarcasm related to when perception trumps safety and great patient care.


It's difficult enough to detect sarcasm in text when proper punctuation and sentence structure is used, and when the reason for inquiry is made clear.....it's nearly impossible when they aren't.
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bring it in for the real thing

#6 Wally

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Posted 19 April 2015 - 12:00 PM

Are there any good ideas or reasons why, when landing an EC135 or an A109 power, to have crew jump out hot during scene responses. The blades are still running, a person or two gets out and walks to the rig.

Hot loading, which I have not done, should speed up scene times buy having the aircraft spinning and ready to go. Is this a safe, simple assumption on how hot loading helps the patient?

My questions are basic:

I have almost a zero chance of hitting a blade when they are not moving, but I do have much better chance when they are circleing around. Is a risk from zero to a much increased number worth having crew leave when the blades are running when shutting down takes less than two minutes?

Putting a patient into a helicopter, while shut down, allows for a normal voice (and a zero risk of hitting a blade) to help direct poeple on how to get the pt in when the helping group might have no clue how to put someone on the stretcher, etc. now you have the blades spinning, it is dark, the ground is wet, the EC stretcher is stuck in the mud and to provide direction, one really needs to yell. Stress level is increased vs. cold loading. Not to mention the risk increase. Is hot loading worth the increased risk in an all ready extremely risky business?

Does hot loading matter?
Is hot loading just so cool?
Does hot unloading and running to the scene while the rotors are spinning look awesome?
Does hot unloading and hot loading safe time?
Is the really a worth doing in a 'risk vs. benefit' comparison?
Does hot off/on loading appear to scene crews as a great time saving ordeal?

Thanks for reading

There is one and only one rational reason to load hot- prevent a failure to start. It is no quicker, the increased noise and the effects it has on communication, and distraction inevitably offset the time 'saved' by not having to restart patient loaded in our (Astar) aircraft. That may seem counter-intuitive, as it appears that so much more is happening quickly in hot operations, but I (pilot) am typically started and at full RPM before the 2nd crew member, the nurse has helmet on. Cold loads, just getting the patient in, are quicker than that part of the hot loading circus. That said, the shortest scenes I've ever done were hot loads.

 

The risk comparison is also somewhat counter-intuitive with hot loads. When you shutdown, the tension drops at the scene for everybody but the med crew. Casual supersedes disciplined stress, and people wander, 'stuff' is casually handled, and it takes time to get ducks back in a row. Recovering from that relaxed state means stuff changes and get missed. The improved communication and ease of operation saves time loading cold, but it's often lost in the other parts of the process.

 

In the end, if you've interfaced with requesting agencies and their support, and they're well founded in what and how, and when, the loading operation happens, there's almost no difference in time or overall amount of hazard.

 

The shutdown and restart is a common point where maintenance issues occur. Relays won't re-engage, stuff happens, and the transport goes by ground. That is an indisputable advantage to hot loads.


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#7 jpd9191

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Posted 21 April 2015 - 04:29 AM



Thank you for responding. Nice to have a pilot's opinion on scene loading.
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#8 flynrn

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Posted 11 August 2015 - 01:30 PM

I agree with the post.  Shutting down has advantages and disadvantages, it does depend on the situation and crew resource should play a role in the decision which can be done considering the patients condition, weathe issues and scene observation during landing.

We do have to be very careful though, once, we had landed on a two lane road between a fire engine at our nose and 2 sheriff's cars at our aft.  As I was walking back to prep the aircraft to receive the patient (we were hot), I saw a vehicle go around the deptuies vehicles and was heading towards the aircraft and scene.  I ran up to the car, slapped my hands on the hood and told her to STOP!  She tried to keep going but a deputy saw what was going on and took over.

Later I called that deputy and asked what in the H--- was she thinking!!!  He said "she was late getting her kids to school and needed to get around us so they would not be late!"  Unabelievable!

 

Always have eyes opne! 


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Cindy Covington, RN BSN