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Volunteer Fire Fighters Trained To Aid Emergency Flight Teams

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LAWRENCE COUNTY, Ala (WHNT) - In an emergency situation where every second counts, sometimes ground transportation isn’t enough. That’s where AirEvac medical helicopters come in.

Part of their job is to safely coordinate with local emergency responders on the ground. Saturday the Red Bank Volunteer Fire Department trained to assist AirEvac pilots in case of an emergency.

"When somebody had been on the ground and can walk through the area we are going to land and tell us 'I'm here. I see nothing, go ahead and land' it sure helps us significantly," said Pilot Marc Durocher.

Training included spotting safe landing zones for the pilots, clear of trees, wires, hills, and houses. While it may seem easy enough, the pilots say the training is essential for communities where helicopters may seem like a novelty.

"They don't understand the concerns. They think it’s like a car where you can just go right up to it and touch it. But with the rotors turning it can be life threatening. So we don't tolerate any deviations," said Durocher.

Having emergency responders trained on the ground is especially important when AirEvac pilots have to find alternative places to land at the last minute.