Elan Head Posted February 5, 2009 Report Share Posted February 5, 2009 Hi everyone, Here's a U.S. topic that Canadian readers might want to weigh in on as well. I'm in Washington, D.C. this week covering NTSB hearings on the HEMS industry: four fun, fun, fun-filled days of sitting in an uncomfortable chair in a basement conference room with no cell reception (so I can't even distract myself with text messages. Which is possibly what the NTSB had in mind when they designed the place). All that aside, though, the hearings are bringing up some interesting points about how the US HEMS industry operates. It's a very free-market model in the US, very different from the rest of the world. We Americans love our free markets, but I think the hearings are raising some legitimate questions about whether the HEMS industry needs more regulation. Here are some of the q's that have come up in the past few days: 1. Does the US have too many EMS helicopters? The US has around 830 helicopters serving an EMS role. Canada has 20. Does competition improve the system or is it a detriment to safety? 2. Should HEMS operators be reimbursed only for patient transfers, or for response and readiness as well? More to the point: does reimbursing only for patient transfers motivate operators to accept as many flights as possible — even ones they shouldn't? 3. Does the FAA need to mandate equipment (TAWS, NVG) and/or crew (two-pilot) requirements? 4. Does the NTSB need to install wireless internet in its media room? (Yes.) Would love to hear thoughts on 1 to 3 (number 4 I've pretty well made up my mind on). Cheers! Elan Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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