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News > Boston MedFlight wins American Eurocopter Vision Zero Aviation Safety Award


Boston MedFlight wins American Eurocopter Vision Zero Aviation Safety Award

October 22, 2013

Virginia Beach, Virginia – American Eurocopter is pleased to announce that Boston MedFlight has been awarded the 2013 Vision Zero Aviation Safety Award, after being chosen from a record-tying list of 25 nominees.

Jennifer Hardcastle awarded 10,000 dollarsBoston MedFlight Chief Executive Officer Suzanne Wedel was presented the award and $10,000 check by Jennifer Hardcastle, American Eurocopter Sales Manager, Air Medical Specialist, during the AMTC Annual Community Awards banquet Monday, Oct. 21.

American Eurocopter created the Vision Zero Award in 2007 to promote and increase safety in the air medical industry. It recognizes a program that has demonstrated a commitment to aviation safety, spotlights specific safety initiatives and encourages programs to share their ideas so others in the industry may learn from them. The competition is judged by an industry committee.

"Boston MedFlight is committed to safety from top to bottom,” said Anthony DiNota, American Eurocopter Vice President of Commercial Sales, Marketing, Customer Support and Training. “In sharing its best practices, Boston MedFlight sets a great example for the industry.”

Boston MedFlight is a not-for-profit organization providing critical care transport service to more than 2,700 patients a year using state-of-the-art air and ground vehicles and medical equipment, and has transported more than 52,000 critical patients since its founding in 1985. Boston MedFlight is financially supported in part by a consortium of Boston hospitals including Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston Medical Center, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston Children’s Hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital and Tufts Medical Center.

“Boston MedFlight has a long commitment to sharing practices and collaborating to improve safety throughout the community,” said Charles Blathras, Chief Operations Manager and Critical Care Transport Specialist for Boston MedFlight. ”We have already developed regional best practices in conjunction with the other rotary wing programs in the New England area and any of our individual or regional best practices can be adopted by other programs, or by the industry.

“We have, in similar fashion, learned much from the experiences of others,” Blathras said. “The $10,000 award will assist in further development of our adverse events reporting and tracking structure, supporting our belief that data can be the key to good decision-making, and that reporting, communication, and loop closure are the keys to a robust safety system.”

Boston MedFlight utilizes a variety of innovative safety initiatives that are representative of the Vision Zero goal, including a GPS approach infrastructure under development within the hospital network. Boston MedFlight requires that its pilots attend IFR and emergency procedures training with Flight Safety, ensuring they have experience with IFR operations. It also requires all crewmembers to be trained using night vision goggles. Boston MedFlight aircraft are equipped with Traffic Alert Collision Avoidance Systems, Ground Proximity Warning Systems and flight data recording systems. Its pilots are ATP-rated, the highest certification level available.

All air transport programs and operators that are members of the Association of Air Medical Service (AAMS) are eligible to apply for the Vision Zero Aviation Safety Award.

The 2013 Blue Ribbon Committee members that judged the competition included: Chairman Bill Bryant President of Sierra Health Group; Denise Landis, Program Director for University of Michigan Survival Flight; Eileen Frazer, Executive Director of CAMTS; Ed MacDonald, Chairman of AMSAC; Chris Eastlee, President, Air Medical Operators Association; Gerry Pagano, Director of Operations, Health Care District of Palm Beach County's Trauma Hawk Aeromedical Program; Jason Schwebach, Assistant Vice President at Carolinas Healthcare System; and Lindsay Cunningham, Senior Manager of Aviation Safety, American Eurocopter.

For more information about the Vision Zero program and the American Eurocopter Vision Zero Aviation Safety Award, visit the Association of Air Medical Services website at www.aams.org.

Related photos and video are available on a dedicated page in the Awards section.

About American Eurocopter

American Eurocopter is the U.S. affiliate of Eurocopter, the largest helicopter manufacturer in the world, and a subsidiary of EADS North America Holdings, the North American operations of EADS, a world leader in aerospace, defense and related services. American Eurocopter is a helicopter manufacturer and markets, sells and supports the broadest range of civil and parapublic helicopters offered by any manufacturer. The product line represents the most cost-effective, technologically-advanced helicopters, ranging from light single to heavy twin aircraft, serving all markets and missions. American Eurocopter’s headquarters and main facility are in Grand Prairie, Texas with a large manufacturing and production facility in Columbus, Miss.


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