CALCUTTA, Ohio (WKBN) – Firefighters and EMTs have to go through training constantly. Monday evening, the Calcutta Volunteer Fire Department hosted one on landing medical helicopters.
About 30 to 40 firefighters and EMTs sat in the Calcutta Volunteer Fire Department for training on landing a medical helicopter. Their station has been a landing zone for many years.
The ambulance company usually makes the call for a medical helicopter.
“It’s for any time of emergency as far as cardiac, trauma, major trauma and a car accident,” said Fire Chief Dave McCoy.
McCoy says they can shut down the highway if a helicopter needs to land on it, but they like to land in spots they’re familiar with.
“We rely on the EMS and the fire to set up a suitable landing zone for us that’s safe,” said Stat MedEvac outreach coordinator Matt Horton.
But many factors go into play if a medical helicopter is able to land, one of which is the weather. McCoy guesses there’s about an 80 to 85 percent chance one can land.
“There’s probably 10 to 15 percent where inclement weather does not permit them to land which, at that point, means they have to be transported,” McCoy said.
Most of the people in the training have landed a medical helicopter. But for safety purposes, continuous training is needed to help first responders understand what pilots are doing.
“These are usually chaotic scenes, usually there are multiple patients, sometimes multiple critical patients. So we’re dealing with a lot of EMS, a lot of fire, a lot of police,” Horton said.
After an hour and a half, the classroom training came to an end. Then everyone filed outside where a medical helicopter landed so they could get familiar with it.
The plan was to get a medical helicopter on the ground but due to weather and other factors, it wasn’t safe.
The training was able to add some security to the “what if” factor.
“Gives them the insight on how to properly land the bird and the safety procedures on how to bring that bird in,” McCoy said.