Personnel at the scene of the emergency will select an appropriate area for LifeGuard based on the following criteria:
- Size: 100 ft x 100 ft day or night clear of fences, signs, trees, overhead wires, poles and other obstacles
- Level ground
- Clear of items that could be blown: (sheets, bags, back boards, boxes, plywood, etc)
- As close to the scene as possible without endangering personnel
- Advise of dust, gravel or snow. Can spray down dry gravel roads to decrease dust.
- Night: Do not shine lights at the helicopter (this may temporarily blind the pilot)
- If landing area becomes unsafe, advise pilot to "Go around.landing area unsafe"
- The pilot will make final landing decision
The following are EXTREME DANGERS when landing:
Power lines, telephone wires, towers
Blowing debris in landing area
- ALWAYS approach the helicopter from the front or sides where the pilot can see you. Stay clear of the left rear tail of the helicopter. Tail rotors are turning so fast that they are nearly invisible.
- WAIT for Pilot to signal prior to approaching the aircraft.
- When helping load a patient, never approach aircraft without a LifeGuard Crew Member with you.
- Position an Emergency Responder near the aircraft to watch for people approaching and to prevent anyone from walking into the tail rotor.
- NEVER approach or leave the helicopter on the uphill side. Check the land around the helicopter because you want to avoid the main rotor!
- ALWAYS approach or leave the helicopter from the front or downhill side!
When working in or around the helicopter landing zone, be aware of the rotors and rotor down wash. Follow these safety steps AT ALL TIMES:
- Hold loose articles firmly: pillows, blankets etc. can be easily blown into the rotor.
- Never chase items that have blown away. The tail rotor is almost invisible when running and is extremely dangerous.
- Never raise IV poles around the helicopter or hold IVs over your head, even if the helicopter is not running. If the rotor dips, it may strike the IV pole.
- No running on the Landing Zone (LZ).
- Keep observers 100 feet away from the Landing Zone and out of the landing and take-off path.
- Do NOT smoke near the helicopter.
- Stay away from the rear one-third of the helicopter.
- Watch for drones and notify crew if any spotted.
- Please make sure seat belts are inside the aircraft before and after closing any doors.
- Please remove hats when near the helicopter.