» Safety [07/09/2018]
NEMSPA and AAMS collaborating for HAA safety at AMTC 2018

Dear Colleagues,

When I first began serving on the NEMSPA Board, I felt we had an opportunity to continuously improve safety in our industry. One way I believe this can be done is by providing more opportunities for training, specifically more integral cross-training with all team members on our aircraft. For the past several years, I have attended the two big trade shows for our industry. The annual HELI-EXPO is attended mostly by helicopter pilots, while the majority of attendees at AMTC are clinicians. Most air medical professionals agree on the need for opportunities to get pilots and clinicians in the same room talking safety. Since the perspectives from these roles can be very different, communication between these roles is vital to safe and successful operations.

Working with the Association of Air Medical Services (AAMS), NEMSPA was able to try two new programs at AMTC 2017 in Fort Worth. The first was the new Air Medical Crew Safety Track (AMCST), a series of classes on operational safety taught by both pilots and clinicians. As a result, these classes are intended for a combination audience of both pilots and clinicians. Participants that attended at least four of these classes over the three days of AMTC were presented with an AMCST Certificate of Participation at the NEMSPA booth. Participants then returned to their programs armed with knowledge to share with their team members. Each AMCST certificate we present will foster conversations about this new education track available at AMTC, and will also foster interest in the AAMS Safety Management Training Academy (SMTA). The goal is greater pilot participation in future conferences. Simply put, the success of this program is predicated on participation by ALL members of the flight team. This leads us to our second initiative.

The second initiative for AMTC is the Pilot Hall Pass (PHP). When I ask many air medical pilots why so few of them attend AMTC, the answer I most often received was that, "Pilots don't need CEU's (Continuing Education Units) so why should we pay for something we don't need?” That's a valid question. So we consulted with AAMS President, Rick Sherlock, on a suggestion to improve pilot attendance at the conference. Let’s give pilots the opportunity to attend AMTC, participate in the new Air Medical Crew Safety Track (AMCST) and receive a year’s membership to NEMSPA, at a cost appropriate to that level of attendance. Thus, the Pilot Hall Pass was born at a cost of only $215. We proved the concept in 2017 in Ft. Worth, and now we want to see it grow this year in Phoenix.

We hope these two new programs will encourage and facilitate pilots and clinicians learning and working together to improve safety and excellence in Air Ambulance Operations.


1) The Air Medical Crew Safety Track (AMCST) is open to anyone attending AMTC 2018. There is no additional cost to participate in the Air Medical Crew Safety Track. Anyone participating in four AMCST classes can come by the NEMSPA booth to receive their certificate of participation.

2) The Pilot Hall Pass (PHP) is open to present and future HAA pilots to extend them the opportunity to take part in the AMCST. The PHP will allow the pilot to attend safety classes, access to the convention floor, and enjoy a one-year NEMSPA Membership. New for 2018, we will have the industry leader round table. This event will allow access to the decision makers from different HAA providers. They will be able to answer questions from pilots wanting to enter our industry. The primary discussion will focus on what a pilot, new to HAA, will need to highlight on a resume, including how to translate military flight experience to meeting civilian job requirements.

Register Online TODAY! Select ‘Pilot Hall Pass’ for $215.


Warmest Regards,

Miles Dunagan, MTSP-C
President, National EMS Pilots Association

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