Safety and Risk Management
Safety Is Our Priority
Safety and risk management are core philosophies of Life Flight Network. To meet all challenges associated with the safe transport of critically ill or injured patients by helicopter, fixed-wing aircraft, and ground ambulance, our focus on safety is rigorous and unrelenting. Safety and risk management is a strongly proactive and thoroughly integrated effort, completely supported by the entire Life Flight Network organization as well as its contracted vendors. All operations are vetted through the safety and risk management department prior to implementation and are continuously evaluated to ensure the highest degree of safety is provided to our employees and the public at large.
An absolute premium is placed on the experience, training, and professionalism of our pilots and mechanics. Aircraft and ambulances utilized by Life Flight Network are maintained to the most rigorous standards in the industry.
Life Flight Network safety training is ongoing and comprehensive, maintaining the highest levels of proficiency. Shift briefings, annual Air Medical Resource Management courses, post flight debriefs, and as-needed safety updates serve as the framework for crew training.
Equipment and Technology
Prior to each flight, a comprehensive analysis occurs to determine if a flight can be safely completed. The pilot, medical crew, mechanic, communications specialist, and operational control specialist have the ability to terminate a transport request for any reason. Life Flight Network’s Operational Control Center oversees all flights for which Life Flight Network is the air carrier. All low-light / night rotor flights are aided by night vision goggles to improve visibility.
In 2009, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) established a task force to review and guide government and industry efforts to reduce air ambulance accidents. Life Flight Network has adopted their recommendations. Our Operational Control Center was fully functioning well in advance of the FAA deadline. Recommended aircraft technologies were also employed for all new aircraft even though at the time they were not mandatory, which include: synthetic vision, helicopter terrain awareness and warning system (HTAWS), satellite communications and tracking, night vision goggles, and XM satellite weather displays.
Programs and Accreditations
Our desire to provide the best Safety Management System (SMS) in the industry is evident with our accreditations as an International Standard for Business Aviation Operations (IS-BAO) Stage III Operator and designation as an Accredited Program of Safety by the Helicopter Association International (HAI). IS-BAO Stage III is the highest level of accreditation offered and verifies that safety management activities are fully integrated into the operator’s business and that a positive safety culture is being sustained. Life Flight Network is the only Stage III Air Ambulance operator who is also accredited by HAI.
Additionally, Life Flight Network is an Active Applicant with the FAA’s SMS Voluntary program.
Augmenting our safety efforts, Life Flight Network utilizes several systems to enhance our safety posture, mitigate risks, and ensure our Just Culture is fully functioning at every level of operations. Baldwin Safety and Compliance provides our documentation and data analytic system needed to have a proactive SMS. Flight data monitoring is employed in our aircraft and is the backbone of our flight operations quality assurance program.
Life Flight Network complies with applicable federal and state occupational health and safety laws and CAMTS and NAAMTA accreditation standards. We adopt the best feasible practices, operations, and technologies conducive to creating and maintaining an environment where safety is emphasized and risk minimized.
Life Flight Network’s commitment to safety is just that. We are committed to provide the safest possible air medical transportation system. We will continue vetting our processes through industry standards to validate our processes and continue to be a leader at the fore front of HAA safety.