Landing Zone Preparation

Landing Zone Preparation

When preparing a landing zone, keep the following information in mind:

  • Locate a flat area 150 ft by 150 ft
  • Choose an area clear of people, vehicles, and obstructions such as cars, telephone poles, trees, structures, and overhead wires. The area must be free of stumps, brush, posts, large rocks or any obstruction over 18 inches high.
  • Take into account the wind direction. Helicopters land and take off into the wind, and choose an approach free of obstructions. Any possible obstruction should be communicated to the helicopter crew upon initial radio contact.
  • Remove or secure any loose items in and around the landing zone such as trash, clothing, or equipment. If landing MedEvac near any vehicles, including an ambulance, make sure the doors are closed.
  • If possible, locate the landing zone to the downwind side of the scene. This helps to reduces the noise and dust, and allows the helicopter to land closer to the scene.

General Helicopter Safety Rules:

  • Always wait for a signal from the pilot or crew before approaching the helicopter.
  • Never approach or depart from the rear of the helicopter - approach from the front. Never walk around the tail rotor.
  • Never rush.
  • If the helicopter is on a sloped surface, approach from the downhill side, never from the uphill side due to the angle of the rotor.

For questions regarding setting up a landing zone, please make a request online or contact:

Amy Larson, CCP
Interim EMS Outreach Coordinator
Aspirus MedEvac

Preparing a Patient for Transport

To prepare your patient for critical care ground or air medical transport  - follow these guidelines:

Patient Transport Checklist

  • ABC
    • Airway/cervical spine precautions
    • Breathing, liberal use of endotracheal tube if:
    • Glasgow Coma Scale <9
    • Unable to protect airway
  • Cardiac Monitor
  • C-Spine Immobilization
    • Backboard or scoop stretcher, stiff c-collar, towel rolls, tape
    • Consider KED or similar device
    • Restrain all four extremities, body straps
  • IVs
    • Trauma-large bore x 2 (14-16 gauge)
    • Medical/cardiac – two sites preferred
    • Number and total all IV fluids and output
  • NG Tube  (OG if facial trauma)
    • On all patients with decreased LOC
    • Consider on nauseated patients
    • Caution for patients who have or might receive thrombolytic therapy
  • Foley Catheter
    • On all multiple trauma
    • On all patients in potential shock
  • Remove all clothing on trauma patients
    • Keep warm
  • Chest X-Ray
    • Chest tube as indicated

Additional Preparations Include:

  • Copies of all records, labs and x-rays (these may also be faxed to the receiving facility)

Upon arrival at the scene, the flight or ground crew will do the following:

  • Take history and do a brief physical assessment.
  • Ascertain that the airway is adequately controlled for transport and continue oxygen therapy or ventilator support.
  • Initiate cardiac, blood pressure, oxygen saturation monitoring
  • Pressure bag will be put on all intravenous fluid bags, and infusion pumps will be used as needed.
  • Patient will be transferred to a stretcher and securely strapped in place.
  • Secure copies of patient’s chart and other pertinent data  (family contact numbers).

To arrange ground or air transportation call: 800-888-8056. For intercepts, call 911.

Aircraft operated by Med-Trans Corporation under FAA operating certificate # M3XA227H