Air Transport Groups: Lower the Pressure

Several top air medical transport groups have joined forces to push for better risk management

      Several top air medical transport groups have joined forces in a campaign to help reduce pressures on air medical crews to fly when conditions are risky.

   As part of the "No-Pressure Initiative" sponsored by the National EMS Pilots Association (NEMSPA), a working group representing the organizations met on January 11 to consider ways to identify and mitigate the pressures that can be placed on crews to accept or continue flights at times of elevated danger, such as at night and in inclement weather. The effort is partially funded by a Vision Zero award, sponsored by American Eurocopter, given to NEMSPA at last year's Air Medical Transport Conference.

   Involved groups include the Association of Air Medical Services (AAMS), Air Medical Operators Association (AMOA), Association of Critical Care Transport (ACCT), Air and Surface Transport Nurses Association (ASTNA), International Association of Flight Paramedics (IAFP) and National Association of Air Medical Communications Specialists (NAACS). The Air Medical Physicians Association (AMPA) also supports the project.

   Members of the working group used a structured process to identify the sources of pressures on crews. From those results, they will develop a survey that will be administered to the air medical transport community in hopes of gathering data to identify and quantify the factors most influential on crews and "most likely to result in the kind of flawed decision-making that could lead to a preventable aircraft accident." Once the survey is complete and its results disseminated, the data will be used to guide the development and implementation of mitigation measures against the pressures.

   For periodic updates on the project, see