St. Mary's LifeFlight Safety Tips and Landing Zone Information
General Helicopter Safety Considerations:
- Approach the aircraft only after receiving a signal from the pilot.
- Always approach from the front of the helicopter. Never approach from the tail.
- Never hold anything above eye level.
- No smoking or running within 50 feet of the helicopter.
- Crowds should be kept 100 feet from the helicopter at all times.
- Assure that all personal equipment is secure (i.e. no hats, no mattresses or sheets on the stretcher that can be blown away or up into the rotor system).
- Flight crew will direct all loading and unloading
- Aircraft doors will only be handled by the flight crew
- Be prepared for loading/unloading with a patient cart (remove the mattress and all linens) and full portable oxygen tanks
Guidelines for Scene Operations
Preparing the Landing Zone (LZ) is the first step to safely land a helicopter.
Landing Zone Requirements
- 100' x 100' minimum preferred
- Obstruction-free: No wires, trees, poles, etc.
- 2 paths of approach/departure
- Mark LZ with vehicle lights crossed, secured cones, or secured strobes
- Area should be level and free of debris
- Illuminate nearby obstructions at night
- Secure LZ (allow no one to enter)
- HAZMAT: land aircraft 1 mile upwind of incident
- Once your LZ is determined, inform LifeFlight dispatch of your location using GPS coordinates if available or the name of a major nearby intersection
- The pilot will contact you on the radio
- Only one person should communicate with the aircraft
- Describe Landing Zone
- Describe any hazards such as trees, poles, wires, etc.
- Give wind direction
Notify Pilot When Aircraft is in Sight
- Stand upwind with hands raised overhead
- Leave LZ when helicopter is on 1/4 mile final or when directed by the pilot
- Approach aircraft only under the direction of the Pilot
- Remain at LZ until helicopter departs
LifeFlight Dispatch Number (800) 426-0911