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
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What happens at the second night incident with copter occupied elsewhere?

Who makes the call as to who is priority? :confused:
 

RedPhive

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Who makes the call as to who is priority? :confused:

That's a question for the pilot in command to determine with the real-time information he is being fed. The pilots can and should coordinate with WXMAN, but at the end of the day if you shell out 200 bucks you need to accept that the helo may or may not be busy when you need them. The pilot's #1 priority is to get the patient to the next highest level of care. Sometimes that means meeting an ambulance on the highway and transferring the patient to them. It depends on the resources they have in the helo and the condition of the patient. Not every accident is going to require a trip to Scripps La Jolla.

And the situation is not so different here in the states. We all pay taxes to fund Coast Guard SAR helos, right? There's 3 of them right here in San Diego next to the airport but only one on standby at any given time. If your sailboat starts sinking and they're already out there trying to rescue someone else on their yacht, you're at the whim of the aircraft commander to decide who the priority is. And if they decide you're priority #2, then you're at the whim of the remaining available assets in San Diego. Most the time you'll probably luck out because 50% of the Navy's helo fleet is also here, but what if it's a holiday weekend? The Navy's not sitting on the edge of their chair waiting to launch a rescue, they're on a four hour recall. That means if the Coasties call and ask for help, the Navy has four hours to sober up and get a helo airborne. What if you live in a place they're not lucky enough to have so many air assets? There are other helo assets around SD, but you can't armchair quarterback this.

If you're paying a mere $200, you really have to accept that the professionals will make the right decision when the time comes. $200 is nothing when it comes to aviation, especially rotary-wing . We recently replaced a tail-rotor blade...$80k. When you can afford your own personal airborne recovery team then I suppose it's reasonable to expect them to revolve solely around you. Until then, $200 is a fúcking steal -- extremely generous in my opinion.

One helo is better than none!
 

Dezertpilot

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That's a question for the pilot in command to determine with the real-time information he is being fed. The pilots can and should coordinate with WXMAN, but at the end of the day if you shell out 200 bucks you need to accept that the helo may or may not be busy when you need them. The pilot's #1 priority is to get the patient to the next highest level of care. Sometimes that means meeting an ambulance on the highway and transferring the patient to them. It depends on the resources they have in the helo and the condition of the patient. Not every accident is going to require a trip to Scripps La Jolla.

And the situation is not so different here in the states. We all pay taxes to fund Coast Guard SAR helos, right? There's 3 of them right here in San Diego next to the airport but only one on standby at any given time. If your sailboat starts sinking and they're already out there trying to rescue someone else on their yacht, you're at the whim of the aircraft commander to decide who the priority is. And if they decide you're priority #2, then you're at the whim of the remaining available assets in San Diego. Most the time you'll probably luck out because 50% of the Navy's helo fleet is also here, but what if it's a holiday weekend? The Navy's not sitting on the edge of their chair waiting to launch a rescue, they're on a four hour recall. That means if the Coasties call and ask for help, the Navy has four hours to sober up and get a helo airborne. What if you live in a place they're not lucky enough to have so many air assets? There are other helo assets around SD, but you can't armchair quarterback this.

If you're paying a mere $200, you really have to accept that the professionals will make the right decision when the time comes. $200 is nothing when it comes to aviation, especially rotary-wing . We recently replaced a tail-rotor blade...$80k. When you can afford your own personal airborne recovery team then I suppose it's reasonable to expect them to revolve solely around you. Until then, $200 is a fúcking steal -- extremely generous in my opinion.

One helo is better than none!
Cant like this thread enough!
 

Flat Foot

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Redphive, you make some great points and are obviously current in the S.A.R helicopter arena. Consider the $200 as a tax is a good way to look at it. I agree that the $200 is minimal considering a new rescue hoist costs $220,000 just for the parts and the NVG goggles/aircraft set up is well over $100,000 just for the equipment. Its a delicate balance to be as proactive as possible in regard's to safety and not pricing the sport out of reach for limited teams. As a racer on a limited budget I can appreciate rising costs but as a pilot that flies the rescue helicopter I REALLY appreciate safety.
 

Bro_Gill

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Hold on, as a medical provider in the emergency field, it should NEVER be the pilot's decision who gets flown and who goes ground. Unless that Pilot is the highest ranking medical person at the scene, you better leave that decision to a medic or flight nurse or doctor. There should actually be protocols determining flight criteria. How many full arrests are you willing to waste air time on? You guys do realize all these answers are already out there in the filed. You aren't inventing a wheel here, just trying to place somewhere it doesn't exist.
 

RedPhive

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Imagine a situation where you don't have the luxury of having a doctor onboard, but the best thing that you could have done for someone was to pick them up out of the ocean or off the side of a cliff.

If I always had a doctor flying in the back to tell me what the patient needs, that'd be great! Or a nurse or EMT. Anybody to take those decisions out of my hands! Please! But a lot of the time that's not possible. And who's going to make decisions about fuel? The doc? Fuel is the number one limitation I have, and after I've burned half a bag flying out to you, searching for you, finding a place to land (or even worse on fuel economy: hovering and hoisting you up!), and waiting to get you inside and strapped down, now I have less fuel. Now I have to make decisions about where I can take you based on what's closest, how much fuel we have, what condition you're in, etc. So who do you want making these tough decisions when we're out there all on our own? It's a decision made by the crew, but ultimately it's the Pilot In Command who's responsible for the safety of the crew and survivors.

I realize, of course, that the world I fly in is entirely different than, say, Flat Foot's. He may have luxuries not available to me, but if you find yourself sinking off the coast of La Jolla there's a good chance you end up riding home with someone like me, like it or not.

But we're talking about Mexico, right? We're talking about scraping together some semblance of a respectable SAR/MEDEVAC helo for $200 a pop. It sounds like Flat Foot has a plan, let him work it. It can't be any worse than what we've got now, right?
 

johndjmix

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All these numbers of what aircraft parts cost makes me think I should be in the business of helicopter parts instead of scooter / ATV parts!

On a serious note, Good points in this thread. The $200 is a no brainer but there are a lot of logistics to be worked out with this also.

--John


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JDDurfey

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This last year's Baja 500 is prime example of the need of more emergency equipment even during the daylight hours, not to mention night time.

If I recall correctly, I was listening to the Weatherman feed, a bike rider crashed and had a broken collar bone on the back side of the Summit. The chopper searched for close to 20 minutes to locate the rider. They extracted him and took him to Ensenada. There they had to refuel and during that time was when the code red for the rider at Morelia Junction went out and it took forever for the chopper to get there. Meanwhile, the first rider could have possibly been dropped to an ambulance in Valley T, refuel the bird there and have it available to be on the scene at Morelia within a few minutes of the code Red. The rider with the collar bone could have been transported by ground to SF or Ens. Now, this is some speculation on my part, I was not in the chopper and did not see the injured. Of course, every situation can be "arm chair quarterbacked" at a later date, but learning from situations is how we can improve for the future.

I definitely like the idea of this chopper, especially the ability to fly at night. Being able to carry crash tools is a great asset. I have often wondered about what would happen if they were needed to extricate a driver from a race car down there, because I doubt many Mexican ambulances carry tools like this. The ability for this chopper to refuel in multiple locations and to be able to drop non critical patients to awaiting ambulances would also be great. I personally would not have a problem with an added $200 to my entry fee to help cover the costs.
 

Bro_Gill

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"Imagine a situation where you don't have the luxury of having a doctor onboard, but the best thing that you could have done for someone was to pick them up out of the ocean or off the side of a cliff."


Then you are not flying in a medivac chopper, you are simply catching a ride. If you don't understand the need for medical care while in flight, then you have missed the point. This isn't simply about flying people somewhere else, itis about getting medical care to them, continuing medical care while enroute, and passing medical care off to a higher medical authority to stabilize any medical issues the patient has. We aren't going to pay for a helicopter simply to pick people up and move them away from their busted bike or car. SAR and Medivac are 2 entirely different things and the ships are designed and outfitted differently.

This issue isn't going to be fixed with a helicopter. Better ground resource management and ability is where it needs to start, the helicopter would be the last thing on the list to be done to fix the problem. At $40,000 bucks for a day, you can have a pretty comprehensive ground support force and use the helicopters as they should be used, transferring critically injured patients to planes for transport stateside to better hospital accommodations. You can also probably staff both sides of the peninsula with a couple good ER docs, a couple trauma surgeons, and ER Tech and a ER Nurse at the hospitals in San Felipe and Ensenada for the duration of the race for much less. The reality is the helicopter had -0- as in ZERO outcome change in the issue that occurred at the 1000.
 

calstyl2

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The lead moto should always have a helo with them, ending this was the worst thing ever.

Sent from my SM-G935V using Tapatalk
 
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fusionoffroad

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I was the first driver in Mark Luhtala's truck so my point of view is one of someone directly involved. $200 is cheep and necessary. when it is your team and friends life on the line you will at any cost want the best possible care for them and the most effective response time from accident to hospital. These seconds are critical and life changing. Anyone on this thread answering no either does not race or believes strongly that this type of accident only happens to other people. I am the first to say I am the other people and it can happen to you. with no life line you will be left feeling helpless and guilty for what your friend is going through. Easy answer. If you cant afford the $200 don't race your life is worth more then $200 and can be taken from you in the blink of an eye. As for the chopper crew thank you very much in all your efforts to save the life and quality of life for both Cody and Mark I can never thank you enough for what you do for us racers. Race in peace Mark you will never be forgotten.
 

RedPhive

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I hesitate to reply after fusionoffroad's response for fear of diminishing its impactfulness, but it must be said...

Then you are not flying in a medivac chopper, you are simply catching a ride. If you don't understand the need for medical care while in flight, then you have missed the point.

No, you have missed the point entirely. Being that the military pays me to do it professionally, I understand the nuances between SAR and MEDEVAC. It's a messy world out there (especially in Mexico) and things are not as clear cut as it seems you might like them to be.

There is one point of this entire thread and if you read it carefully in its entirety it's as follows:

Professional helicopter pilots (i.e. Flat Foot) want to provide helo support to racers in emergency situations in remote areas of Mexico. You're either in favor or against. There's nothing more to it than that.

I'm entirely disinterested in delving into some sort of pissing contest between the informed and uninformed, I'm simply here to help answer questions. If you find that the services offered by Flat Foot are inadequate, inappropriate, or otherwise, you need not vote in favor of it, nor should you feel pressured to allow him to extract you from a crash site with his helicopter. For that matter, please don't feel obligated to accept a spectator's help if he drives his 4x4 out to your rollover site. If he doesn't have the proper medical education, equipment, latex gloves, etc, you shouldn't be pressured into accepting inadequate assistance.

As a mere spectator this past 1000, my buddies and I winched out 6 race cars, towed a chase truck several miles off the course, fixed a race car's serpentine belt, repaired a flat, and reseated an ATV's bead. As a professional helicopter pilot, I can only imagine the good that could be done with a crew in place waiting to help, doctor or not.
 

Offspring

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IMO what is going on in this thread is there are some who envision this as a "mercy air" "life-flight" or what ever service is active in your area which is usually attached to a local trauma center. I haven't seen those claims here or on the HP website.

There are others who envision this as a chase vehicle with a large rotor blade instead of wheels, that can get to and get the injured to help quicker. This is not meant with any disrespect at all, after all that's what was on the scene saving these guys lives that morning. This is actually more in line with what I've seen here and with what is outlined on HP's website regarding race support. In fact nowhere on HP site does it even talk about medical transport, just on-site assistance, but they are based in the US and medical transports I'm sure are a highly regulated venture.

The issue really is whether or not they will be able to get government permission to fly at night, then try to obtain equipment/training to accomplish that. You are not getting, or being promised anything like your regional trauma center ship.

This vagueness has led to the pissing match we've seen develop here between the medically trained side and the flying side. If the ground rules were a little clearer on exactly what the mission is envisioned to be, then the discussion will move along a little better.
 
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RedPhive

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There are others who envision this as a chase vehicle with a large rotor blade instead of wheels, that can get to and get the injured to help quicker. This is not meant with any disrespect at all, after all that's what was on the scene saving these guys lives that morning. This is actually more in line with what I've seen here and with what is outlined on HP's website regarding race support.

Ah, yes! Thank you for describing that more accurately and succinctly than I was able to. Everyone wants it to be as close to a Mercy Air as possible, but I suspect the reality is it will start off closer to what you described above and strive toward becoming as much as a Mercy flight as is possible.
 

Bro_Gill

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I live in the world of reality. If you want Mexico to agree to changing their night flight rules, better start with that and worry about how much stuff you are going to carry after that bridge is crossed. In fact, once you have the approval to fly at night, there will be 6-7 teams that will carry out said race/chase duties as they do during the day now. Pretty much every team that can afford a helicopter for their race program has always been very forward about giving everything they can to help out in a time of need for any team out there in trouble. And they will be airborne over the course, not sitting in Ensenada waiting for a call. Once you start talking about firefighting capability, jaws of life, etc... Even that Huey based in Redlands gets fat real quick. And what happens when that Huey is already out fighting fires in Socal during a Santa Ana wind driven fire during the 1000? I know how the contract copter world is. There is a reason there are dedicated medical transport choppers. I know why they are so expensive to use. I understand the cost. This isn't the Gov't where 600 dollar hammers and 800 dollar toilet seats are OK and we can always just raise taxes to buy more. I also know that if you don't have medical capabilities in the ship, how are you going to transport critically injured folks without giving them care to continue their lives? I have lived, worked, and made decisions in this world for 32 years. I am not talking out my arsehole here. I am all for paying 200 bucks for a medically capable and equipped airship that can arrive, stabilize, and transport me to a better medical facility at any race. Are we all agreeing that is what we are talking about?
 

Robin Hood

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I am all for paying 200 bucks for a medically capable and equipped airship that can arrive, stabilize, and transport me to a better medical facility at any race. Are we all agreeing that is what we are talking about?

I am all for paying 200 bucks for an airship that can arrive and transport me to a better medical facility at a race in Mexico day or night.

You may not agree, but I bet enough others will... Thanks for taking the other side and raising some good questions and concerns,

How about letting Flat Foot work on his solution and you see what you can bring to the table with your ideas and experiance?
 

fusionoffroad

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in Mexico the ambulance is nothing but a slow moving transportation vehicle. they have no tools or gear to sustain life or medicine to assist with pain. you are lucky if they have a bandage for a wound. Trust me I know this first hand. Time is life in Mexico. air support day or night is the most important thing we as drivers need. when life threatening injuries take place we need to be extradited to a US hospital ASAP.
 
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