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Opinions on Helmets in EMS and......


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I got an email from a reader who had opinions/comments on two areas that he has seen in industry photos. The areas involved helmets in EMS and external tactical benches used in Law Enforcement.

 

The reader actually operates an Astar and a fixed wing aircraft. Additionally, he gave me permission to post his comments for the sake of discussion. - Lyn

 

He Wrote:

 

"I have two issues that stand out when I see helicopter flight crew action pictures:

 

1. I simply do not understand the mindset the dictates helmets for flight crews on helicopter ambulance flights, when the fragile patient, who would need it the most, does not have a helmet. The helmets are cumbersome and limit peripheral vision. They do nothing for the patient and I do not know of a situation where helmets really improved the safety of the flight crew as compared to the compromises they impose on the overall aspects of the flight. Peripheral vision is a factor when you fly into terrain and obstructions. Has anyone ever thought about that?

 

2. The other much more startling image is of law enforcement crew on "tactical benches'" wielding machine guns, sort of like rambo movie scenes. Come on now, if there were hostile situations where they were facing armed targets, they would be easy pickings for any armed outlaw. Are we to imagine that this kind of show is anything but a Sylvester Stallone movie? If there was any real armed thread, you can bet your bottom dollar they would not be outside on a bench, they would be inside the helicopter. So why waste tax dollars on all this hype in a make believe war time scenario that does not even exist in a real armed conflict in Afganistan or Iraq. It is an expensive war game joke. Does this play even apply to legitimate law enforcement?"

 

COMMENTS?

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wow. Surprised this person flies.

 

Helmets. Yes they improve safety in crashes. There are studies. Also they do no restrict vision that much and if they do you are wearing it backwards. :) on top of the safety factor they are need to attach nvgs which definitely improve safety. The patient can't wear a helmet cause many of them are boarded and collared.

 

As for the tactical bench.

 

Many of them are not used as an aerial shooting platform but as a insertion mechanism. Try and load 4 armed men in a 500 or astar and watch the clumsiness of the deplaning process. With the platform they can be off the platform in seconds much more safely. For those that do use it for shooting they have a highly trained sniper. Sniper like high ground. Let's them see and shoot. No better way to high vantage then a helicopter. As for being easy targets I guarantee the sniper has a much better chance of hitting you then you hitting him.

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I have to agree with him. Helmets in EMS have only one positive aspect - they provide a place to hang the NVGs. Otherwise, they're hot, heavy, and IMO actually decrease safety because of that. The number of crashes in which a helmet actually saved anyone is vanishingly small. It's the same for Nomex flightsuits, but they have the overwhelming advantage of looking good, and that's the most important factor for med crews.

 

Law enforcement types need to look good too, and sitting outside with a weapon certainly helps fill that bill.

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Law enforcement types need to look good too, and sitting outside with a weapon certainly helps fill that bill.

 

That would definately deter me from robbing a store, stealing a car, dealing drugs... If I were the type of person. It probably changes the viewpoint of someone who might otherwise just see thier tax dollars on a joy ride.

 

Above all, they are being photographed, of course they want to look cool. B)

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I got an email from a reader who had opinions/comments on two areas that he has seen in industry photos. The areas involved helmets in EMS and external tactical benches used in Law Enforcement.

 

The reader actually operates an Astar and a fixed wing aircraft. Additionally, he gave me permission to post his comments for the sake of discussion. - Lyn

 

He Wrote:

 

"I have two issues that stand out when I see helicopter flight crew action pictures:

 

1. I simply do not understand the mindset the dictates helmets for flight crews on helicopter ambulance flights, when the fragile patient, who would need it the most, does not have a helmet. The helmets are cumbersome and limit peripheral vision. They do nothing for the patient and I do not know of a situation where helmets really improved the safety of the flight crew as compared to the compromises they impose on the overall aspects of the flight. Peripheral vision is a factor when you fly into terrain and obstructions. Has anyone ever thought about that?

 

2. The other much more startling image is of law enforcement crew on "tactical benches'" wielding machine guns, sort of like rambo movie scenes. Come on now, if there were hostile situations where they were facing armed targets, they would be easy pickings for any armed outlaw. Are we to imagine that this kind of show is anything but a Sylvester Stallone movie? If there was any real armed thread, you can bet your bottom dollar they would not be outside on a bench, they would be inside the helicopter. So why waste tax dollars on all this hype in a make believe war time scenario that does not even exist in a real armed conflict in Afganistan or Iraq. It is an expensive war game joke. Does this play even apply to legitimate law enforcement?"

 

COMMENTS?

 

1. I go back and forth on helmets. In the summer, they're hot and I'm not sure the protection offsets that disadvantage (heresy!). And I miss the ball cap visor when I'm pointed into a low sun.

 

2. The 160th sits outside their "Little Birds" when they're using them for insertion. My impression is that they're reputable as a tactical model of what's worth considering.

 

(Besides which, I like the idea of having the weapons I don't control outside my aircraft.)

Edited by Wally
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