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Helipad Safety

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Helipad Safety
Watch the Flight For Life Helipad Safety Video
Safety Videos
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Helipad Safety


  • To provide initial and recurrent helipad safety training for hospital staff.
  • To familiarize all staff with helicopter operations on the helipad.
  • To review helipad safety systems.
  • To insure that patient loading and off-loading are performed safely and efficiently.

Who should receive helipad safety training?
All hospital staff with a responsibility to respond to the helipad:

  • Patient care staff
  • Hospital security officers
  • Plant operations/maintenance staff
  • All staff should receive initial and annual refresher training. Track training on rosters.

Basics of helipad safety

  • Remain alert at all times.
  • Restrict access to those with current helipad safety training.
  • Be aware of any changes in helipad surroundings.
  • Wait for signal from flight crew to approach the aircraft.
  • Always remain in view of the crew.
  • Daily helipad inspection
  • Clear or secure all loose objects.
  • Remove snow / ice
  • Use only non-corrosive ice melter.
  • Check all navigational aids:
  • Windsock, beacon, perimeter and flood lights.
  • Inspect surrounding area for new hazards:
  • Cranes, new construction, birds, etc.
  • Check fire suppression systems and escapes.
  • Before the aircraft arrives
  • Insure helipad is clear:
  • Rocks, trash, carts, cords.
  • Debris can injure staff or damage aircraft.

Keep all staff in protected area:

  • Inside building or behind structures.
  • Rotor wash can be hazardous.
  • Secure all loose clothing, caps, scarves, etc.
  • Implement universal precautions, as appropriate.
  • On ground level helipads, restrict pedestrian and/or vehicle traffic.

Aircraft arrival

  • At night, keep flood lights off until aircraft has landed.
  • Remain in protected location until helicopter rotor blades have stopped.
  • Watch for signal from the flight crew to approach.
  • Always walk while on the helipad.
  • Use caution when surface is slippery.
  • Allow flight crew to open and close doors.
  • Follow flight crew's instructions during off-loading.

"Hot" off-loading

  • Comm Center will advise you if Flight For Life has requested a hot offload (with rotor blades turning).
  • Secure all loose clothing, caps, scarves, stethoscopes.
  • Use eye and ear protection.
  • Remain in protected area until signaled to approach by flight crew.
  • Allow flight crew to operate all doors.
  • "Approach from within view of pilot.
  • Keep head low when walking under rotor blades, especially when windy.
  • Keep hands at shoulder level.
  • Avoid lifting anything into rotor blades.
  • Never go behind cabin area or rear of skids!
  • Extreme danger from spinning tail rotor.

Patient off-loading

  • Allow flight crew to operate stretcher system.
  • Position cart in proper position, setting brake.
  • Wait for signal from flight crew to remove stretcher.
  • Watch for tension on IV lines, oxygen tubing, monitoring cables.
  • Assist flight crew with patient care, as needed.

Be familiar with your helipad systems:

  • Fire suppression and escape
  • Communications
  • Lighting
  • Request specific training with helicopter services that frequent your facility.
  • Flight For Life Colorado
  • Eurocopter AS-350 B3 "A-Star"
  • Single patient, loaded into left side of cabin.
  • Shut down requires approximately 30-60 sec.
  • Tail rotor on right side of tail boom

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