Air and Ground Emergency Responders Team Up


LifeTeam, a helicopter air ambulance service, has been stationed 24 hours a day at the Central Nebraska Regional Airport since January. This week all crews of the Grand Island Fire Department participated in training exercises with the group.

The training has provided them with the opportunity to be able to integrate air and ground medical services, landing zone operations for helicopters, safe loading procedures, and general helicopter safety techniques.

The flight crews will be able to safely and quickly transport patients that need advanced care from a specialized center or team.

"We're getting to know each other," said Russ Blackburn, GIFD EMS Division Chief. "They're explaining their procedures and what they need from us. We can work together and figure out what each other expects on scene and then we won't be figuring it out on the emergency scene."

Michael Johnson with LifeTeam said, "We're going to be responding with Grand Island Fire and we can land straight on a highway, but we need to have them know what we need to keep us safe, keep them safe, and the entire scene safe."

The two emergency response teams haven't worked together yet, but GIFD officials say the growing accessibility of the choppers means they could be teamed up on an emergency scene at any time.