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Your Healthy Family: NCH runs Medflight landing simulation

Posted at 7:13 AM, Jul 13, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-13 07:13:46-04

NAPLES, Fla. — NCH Healthcare System's public safety staff ran a drill with the staff of it's Simulation Center on helicopter safety to make sure everyone is prepared when a Medflight lands.

NCH's Simulation Center helps doctors, nurses, techs, and other staff train and prepare for real life situations.

"Helicopters are a an amazing thing to watch. However, they are dangerous. There are some hazards that come with it," Jennifer Smith, the Emergency Manager for NCH Healthcare System, said.

The public safety staff ran a simulation on how to properly land a Medflight helicopter on the Downtown Baker Hospital's rooftop helipad.

"We're updating our public safety policies and procedures, and training our officers on the proper steps," she said.

Fox 4's cameras weren't the only ones capturing what was going on.

"The content that we're filming here today is going to be made into a web-based video training for our officers and all of our NCH staff on helicopter awareness. But mostly for our public safety officers to know the policies and procedures that they need to go through when a helicopters landing at one of our facilities," Smith said.

She said they want to keep both NCH staff and people visiting or nearby the hospital safe.

"Making sure we're looking out for our community members. We need to make sure that patients or family members — anybody that's here visiting on the NCH property when a helicopter is landing — takes cover and really heeds the warning that we have from our staff as they're going out and letting people know that there's a helicopter coming in," Smith said.

If you happen to be nearby when a Medflight is landing, Smith said to make sure to give them plenty of space. Do not approach the helicopter for any reason, unless told to do so by a crew member or pilot. Don't drive up to or near a helicopter either.

"Stay in your car, stay in the building until it's safe to go back outside," Smith said.

She said running these simulations is also important because you can address other safety issues that may come up that you otherwise wouldn't have planned for.

"Some of the construction that we have going on in NCH properties. We also have to make sure we keep our dumpsters covered and we really do a safety watch as the helicopter is coming in and we're taking off, to make sure that the dumpsters are covered and people are safely inside the building when possible," she said.

Smith said they also had to do the same type of simulation at the NCH North Naples Hospital and create a separate training video for that because that campus has a different type of helipad, and therefore different landing procedures.