Working with Helicopter Rescue

In some cases the best way of evacuating a patient from a remote area or where land transfer is slow or would place the patient at a higher risk, is to use a helicopter. 

Where helicopters are used in remote areas, they maybe the first to arrive in the scene or called later by mountain rescue.  If it arrives in a remote area you may have to make yourself as visible as possible. In the daytime, opening am orange survival bag can be easy to see from the air or stand with your feet together and your arms in a Y position above your head.  They are kept still to make you stand out better as there maybe others and they are moving so by being still you will stand out better.  Many people wave at helicopters, make yourself look different.

In  dark conditions, use your torch to shine on the floor and shine it in a sweeping motion which will appear bigger from the air. If you have a glow stick, it’s best to swing it in a circle to appear bigger from the air.

As the helicopter lands or lowers someone, keep bystanders away by at least 50 metres, do not approach the helicopter, let the crew member come to you,  do not try to assist the winch man, let him do his job on his own till he asks for help, and finally do not shine your torch or head torch at the crew or helicopter..  This can cause problems with them seeing all around.

The same rules should be followed in non remote areas and at these areas it is usual for the emergency services to deal with the helicopter so you need to keep away from it and only assist when told to do so.

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