News > American Eurocopter Vision Zero Aviation Safety Award
September 17, 2007
American Eurocopter proudly announces that PHI Air Medical, Inc. has been selected as the winner of the first annual Vision Zero Aviation Safety Award for their groundbreaking efforts in developing a comprehensive Enhanced Operational Control (EOC) system for their entire air medical operations.
Howard Ragsdale, the Director of PHI Air Medical, responded to the notification “we appreciate the recognition for this effort and are proud of the PHI team led by Mr. JD Wilder who developed this program. We knew going in that this was going to be an expensive undertaking, but we have made a commitment to our patients and employees that we do everything possible to operate safely”.
Marc Paganini, President and CEO of American Eurocopter, stated, “This is a significant step forward in safety for the air medical community.”
The core of PHI’s Enhanced Operational Control system is an experienced EMS pilot on duty 24/7 at PHI’s communication center in Phoenix. Working in conjunction with the Communications Specialists who coordinate patient transports for their 67 air medical aircraft, the EOC pilot is available at any time to the EMS pilots in the field. EOC pilots provide real-time information to include weather reporting collected from hundreds of reporting stations around the country, while monitoring aircraft progress using an automated GPS tracking system.
When PHI EMS pilots arrive on duty around the country, and prior to accepting an air medical flight, they are required to complete a risk analysis form that identifies potential static and dynamic risks including the possibility of adverse weather. This “risk assessment matrix” is transmitted electronically to the EOC Pilot who consults with the on duty EMS pilot to mutually agree that the flight can be safely completed.
According to Bill Bryant, an industry consultant and the Chairman of the Blue Ribbon Committee that reviewed the nominations and selected the winner, “the Committee believes that the EOC system provides an invaluable resource to the EMS pilots, and we recognized the level of PHI’s financial commitment in both developing and staffing this EOC system.”
For more information on The American Eurocopter Vision Zero Aviation Safety Award, along with the nomination form and instructions, please visit:
About American Eurocopter
American Eurocopter is the American subsidiary of Eurocopter, the largest helicopter manufacturer in the world, and EADS North America, the North American operations of EADS, the second largest aerospace and defense company in the world. American Eurocopter markets, sells and supports the broadest range of civil and para-public helicopters offered by any manufacturer. The product line represents the most cost-effective, technologically-advanced helicopters, ranging from light single to heavy twin, serving all markets and missions. American Eurocopter's headquarters and main facility are in Grand Prairie, TX, with a large new manufacturing and production facility in Columbus, Mississippi.
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