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SCVNews.com | Calling All Chopper Pilots: New Website Helps You Find Hospitals | 03-08-2012
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| Thursday, Mar 8, 2012

Detail from the new website

[Caltrans] – Caltrans has launched a website for emergency response pilots to help them find 150 heliport-equipped hospitals across California during medical emergencies. This service will provide a critical link between hospitals and personnel that respond either to daily or large-scale medical emergencies.

“Until now, emergency responders had no single source of information for the locations and capabilities of these heliports,” said Acting Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty. “This new website provides critical information at a time when every second counts.”

The website is intended to aid pilots who fly Emergency Medical Services (EMS) helicopters and helps first responders by providing quick online access to state-permitted hospital heliports and the type of emergency services each hospital provides.

“It’s a great resource for any air medical organization,” said John Mitchell, Redding Reach Air Medical Services base Lead Pilot. “It reduces pilots’ stress levels by familiarizing them with different hospitals’ helipads and also gives a birds-eye view of each hospital’s location and area. I have it marked as a favorite on my browser.”

The Hospital Heliport website was developed by Caltrans in cooperation with the EMS Authority, EMS operators, and other stakeholders. The result is an interactive state map that shows the locations of hospital heliports. Emergency responders can “zoom” into county or regional views and select information about a particular heliport.

Information includes geographic coordinates, trauma center level, and the heliport’s proximity to nearby cities and major roads. The site also provides aerial photographs depicting authorized flight paths, and heliport data such as dimensions, lighting, elevation, and helicopter size and weight limits.

“Air ambulance services make it possible to transport the most severely injured and sickest patients from distant locations to medical centers that have the needed expertise,” said Dr. Howard Backer, Director of the EMS Authority. “Providing hospital landing site information online ensures that air ambulance providers have ready access to accurate information on receiving facilities’ landing sites to improve flight safety.”

The website address is http://www.dot.ca.gov/hq/planning/aeronaut/dataplates.html.

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