Cases & Deals

Air Evac EMS participates in NTSB special hearings focusing on safety issues

Client(s) Air Evac EMS, Inc.

Jones Day client Air Evac EMS, Inc. was invited to appear, provide background documents, and testify on pilot training and operations issues before the National Transportation Safety Board during public hearings on the safety of helicopter emergency medical services (EMS) operations. The Safety Board scheduled four days of hearings that began on Tuesday, February 3, 2009, to learn more about helicopter EMS operations so that it could better evaluate the factors that lead to accidents. Helicopter EMS safety has been an ongoing concern of the Safety Board. In January 2006, the Board issued a special investigation report on EMS operations addressing 55 EMS-related aviation accidents (fatal and non-fatal) that occurred between January 2002 and January 2005.

The issues discussed at the February 2009 hearing included operational structure and models, flight operations, aircraft safety equipment, training, and oversight. The Board invited expert witnesses to provide sworn testimony, and several organizations were granted "party status" so that they could question the witnesses directly under oath. The witnesses and parties represented a range of EMS-related communities, including pilots, medical personnel, managers, and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) officials who provide oversight.

NTSB Public Docket No. SA-530