Baja-Score Rescue Helicopter update/info needed

As a race team would you pay a $200 “Air Rescue” fee per event for a dedicated air rescue helicopter

  • Yes

    Votes: 63 92.6%
  • No

    Votes: 5 7.4%

  • Total voters
    68

Flat Foot

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Thanks everyone for your participation in the survey so far it will be very helpful information for us. As mentioned above, the money would go to funding the operation which has significant expense associated with preparations and being available for each event. Flying the actual missions are costly but not as costly as being properly prepared. So the fee would go entirely to the program and not be refundable.
"It would be fantastic if this Rescue Helicopter just stayed on the ground and wasn't needed"
 

az_amsoil

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Thank you the information & for all you guys do before, during & after the race. While I don't race, I'm one of those who, in my opinion, is in the most danger by having to traverse the highways chasing the race. I know in the past Weatherman asked about medical assets that teams had available so that he could have a better understanding of who was out there and be able to call on them if needed. SCORE could ask for that information when teams register so they would have a nice list of medical assets and who is trained.

I'd encourage EVERYONE who is chasing/racing to simply go to a Red Cross and get training in CPR & basic first aid. Carry a simple medical kit in your vehicle at all times & know how to use the kit if needed. Obviously, there will be incidents that are far beyond basic training, but knowing what NOT to do is just as important as being able to provide basic care.

I'd be willing to pay a "chase fee" to help provide these services. Again thank you for your service, I hope I never have to meet you :)
 

Flat Foot

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That is really good advice to have as many people as possible trained in basic first aid! SCORE presently does inventory known medical assets and it's impressive to see the coordination that goes on in the SCORE OPS/Cruz Roja operation center, weatherman and the whole bunch.

I wouldn't mind meeting you as long as it's not in the helicopter;)
 

NIKAL

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Having air support is important, having night time air support in Mexico would be amazing, and something we have never had before. In all my years I can only think of a few times where night time emergency air support would have had to be used.

With that said we all know people complain about the cost to race Score, and how the little guy is being pushed out. Would adding $200 more to the entry fee be tough and eliminate some more smaller budgeted teams from racing Score? At the 1000 there was 270 entry's. At $200 per entry that would be $57,000 to have a chopper on stand by. With this accident no one would question $57,000 if it would have made a difference and saved Mark. But like mentioned if never needed $57,000 is allot of money to spend on a stand by night time chopper.

While I support change and safety, we have to be carefull and not jump to quick to change a rule or request that a law be changed, because a of a current tragedy that is very emotional in our hearts. While having night time air support would be huge, it would also been huge to have trained medical and ambulances closer to the accendent scene too. Would it be more realistic, cost effective and easier in regards to Mexico Government laws to have more ambulances on stand by around the course? What about a temporary portable emergency triage center at the south end of a course. Think like a MASH tent, where any race injury at anytime during the race could be used?

Again not saying having a ambulance closer and a temporary emergency tent/room closer would have been better then a chopper would have been for Mark, but most accidents we seen are not life threatening where they need to be flown out to the states at night either.
 

Honda48X

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As a firefighter myself I would say the money is being used. Maybe one race the helo is not used at all, and another race its used three or four times. Does that make you pay more??? No not at all. An old saying in the fire service is " we dont get paid for what we're doing, we get paid for what we might have to do". Same with the helo and crew, hopefully we never use them. It's called insurance.
 

Dirt_Nyx

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Would the helo be able to cross the international border and fly patients to USA hospitals? Or would the helo need to land at the nearest capable Mexico airport and the patient need to be transferred to an internationally cleared helo/plane?


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johndjmix

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In the past for a day time chopper to cross the border it's no problem as long as the people being carried have their passports on them. So I assume that's all that would be necessary.

--John


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mgobaja

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could they have transported to San Felipe and gotten the patients into a plane prior to sunrise ?
 

RedPhive

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NVG's wont work with absolute black of remote Baja mixed in with high power offroad lighting randomly being shined.

This is misleading at best. Military pilots routinely practice landing with 0% illumination in the desert (just north of Baja, I might add). It sucks, but it can be done safely. But we have this thing called a moon which can drastically change the "absolute black of remote Baja." Yes, light bars can bloom you out if you look at them straight on, but ambient light from nearby light bars would only help a helo landing on a 0% illum night. In any case, the decision to land or not should be left to the crew and will undoubtedly be on a case-by-case basis as every situation is different.

Flat Foot -- if you need any part-time helo pilots, let me know. Gov't already pays me, I'd work for (post-flight) beer!
 

Bro_Gill

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You guys are already way to far ahead of this thing. Transport to the states... Who gets it when others are still racing and the helo is gone? especially when we already have seen a helo used for a simple non-life threatening injury while others literally dies waiting for care with life threatening injuries. Lots of speculation that the helo would have saved anyone here. He passed(R.I.P.) in a U.S. Hospital days later. Again, lots of speculation. The first thing anyone needs to address here is changing any Gov't regs that stop night flight. Once that is done, then you can all start figuring out how much you want to pay for the thing you never want to use. And how to control that use.
 

calstyl2

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This is misleading at best. Military pilots routinely practice landing with 0% illumination in the desert (just north of Baja, I might add). It sucks, but it can be done safely. But we have this thing called a moon which can drastically change the "absolute black of remote Baja." Yes, light bars can bloom you out if you look at them straight on, but ambient light from nearby light bars would only help a helo landing on a 0% illum night. In any case, the decision to land or not should be left to the crew and will undoubtedly be on a case-by-case basis as every situation is different.

Flat Foot -- if you need any part-time helo pilots, let me know. Gov't already pays me, I'd work for (post-flight) beer!
Key word is military, civilian programs are structured much different. And that's in the US not Mexico where even military aircraft don't night fly unless under special circumstances.
You cannot apply us rules to Mexico.

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RedPhive

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Key word is military, civilian programs are structured much different. And that's in the US not Mexico where even military aircraft don't night fly unless under special circumstances.
You cannot apply us rules to Mexico.

Sorry, but landing at night in a helo in the desert is the same no matter who you are -- it's a dangerous evolution that can be done safely (to a point) with proper gear, training, and experience. Your original post claimed that landing at night in baja was impossible, I simply wanted to put out correct information. Mexican aviation regulations are something else entirely.

In any case, if you're really serious about saving people, you'll bring a helicopter with a hoist which could allow a rescue in areas where landing is impossible.
 

Bro_Gill

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Now you want a hoist. I know how much cost, training, and certification that brings to the table, as well as a hoist capable for stokes litter ship. Maybe we should up that cost to 400 bucks per entry.
 

RedPhive

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Now you want a hoist. I know how much cost, training, and certification that brings to the table, as well as a hoist capable for stokes litter ship. Maybe we should up that cost to 400 bucks per entry.

Not me, per se. But yeah, if I was the pilot out there pulling your ass out of a ditch I'd want every tool possible. Not saying this is financially viable, but if we're talking about it...
 

Bro_Gill

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The medivac ships used in the states are not set up for hoist, they are set up for medical eval and transport. The other ships are set up for rescue and SAR and usually hand off for medical transport after safely removing the victim from harm. I know at least one guy on here that is hoist certified in California and he can tell you what was involved to get a Gov't ship certified to do hoist rescue work. A Gov't ship, non-military. I have done plenty of flights with Gov't ships just getting carded for things like sling loads or unimproved landing sites. Now throw in Mexico...
 

Flat Foot

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An important factor is that when the rescue helicopter is on an assignment it is not available for any other assignments, with that in mind you don't want the helicopter to be gone for hours and hours flying to the US and clearing US customs and then back to Mexico to clear customs again. The goal is to have the "flying fire truck" local and available and have the ambulance transporting patients internationally. Especially since its only a 20 minute flight in a King Air airplane which is standing by in Ensenada during the events.

We do have a rescue hoist for the helicopter and that is a big part of the plan that we are trying to accomplish. The hoist is a fantastic tool day or night and I am optimistic that we will be able to maintain the hoist service with this same $200 per race "Air Rescue" fee. The tough part is getting the initial funding to get the program online which is one challenges I am working through.
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BajaboundMoto

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Remind me when we've had serious night injuries... '16 B1k TTSpec San Matias, '15 B1k TTSpec Guayaquil area, '10 B1k Pro Moto San Javier, and ?

And would this helo be in addition to current helo's ? (not meaning private ones)
Would it be used to collect the drunk specator who crashed his quad? Spectator hit by a race car? Support truck driver who crashed or local who crashed?

Would it be based in Ensenada? If yes, why? Why at the northern most end of the course? Can the helo be secured at ValleyT, Catavina, or another central location? (i'm guessing the military would want to stand guard)

Yes there might be medics on standby at many locations around the course currently but why are there not ambulances capable of transporting injuries in central locations?

Fully agree with @NIKAL "we have to be careful and not jump to quick to change a rule or request that a law be changed, because a of a current tragedy that is very emotional in our hearts".
 

ACME

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At the '15 B1K there was an incident with a pitter down in Santo Tomas during daylight. The leg was stabilized, he was in pain but no danger and he was being monitored: A LEO on scene called for an ambulance to transport. 1/4 mile away sat an ambulance, but they could only transport in the region to the clinic so the injured party had to wait 30+ mins while a transport that could take him to Ensenada was sent. It was very frustrating helping and being on scene and having to wait...

I had the same questions Tim has regarding the helicopters use and I share the same feelings about more ambulances. IMO we need more ambulances on stand by all over the course, ready and on the SCORE ops frequency. I realize it's not the same as a bird with extraction and medic capabilities and realize it may be off topic however, the more assets we have in place all over the course with a capacity to help, it could make a huge difference to competitors, fans and chasers.

As stated before: As an occasional SCORE competitor we'd pay an additional $200 to have a helicopter available at night if it was doable, safe and managed well. As a person I'd expect that asset to respond to any incident where it is truly needed. However, if the competitors paid for it: I can also understand it being kept in reserve exclusively for their needs... It's tough call!

At the end of the day this is a sport where a majority of it takes place in remote areas and as part of competing in it, we accept the responsibility of the risk. I also believe the promoter needs to make sure the course and layout needs to consider safety and believe that opposing race traffic in close proximity should never happen.
 
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