October 11, 1985

Helicopter Evacuations

Author Affiliations

Lifeline Emergency Helicopter Service Rockford, III

JAMA. 1985;254(14):1905. doi:10.1001/jama.1985.03360140057021

To the Editor.—  Most medical directors of emergency air medical services would agree with the proposed national guidelines for the helicopter transport of patients as suggested by Drs Champion and Mattox.1 Because of our experience, I disagree with the restriction to a single-purpose aircraft. Although emergency air medical service helicopters should have transport of patients as their first priority, it need not be their only priority. Programs that are fully integrated into regional emergency medical service networks will find themselves called on from time to time to help with air rescue. These vehicles may be the only suitable aircraft capable of reaching the rescue site in time. There are also some air medical services that support local public service agencies and do rescue work on a routine basis. National standards should not forbid this type of effort.I understand the concern of the American Society of Hospital-Based Emergency Air