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Behind the Scenes with HealthNet
Written by Your 5News Team
Last updated on November 08, 2013 @ 6:13PM
Created on November 08, 2013 @ 4:21PM

When your life is on the line and time is of the essence, HealthNet crews spring into action. A team made up of a pilot, paramedic, and a flight nurse has your life in their hands when you need help the most.

Flight Paramedic Dennis Wilson said, "We have to be adverse in all different kinds of medical treatments. We can do scene flights from strokes, car wrecks, and from scenes with pediatric patients."

The helicopters are essentially intensive care units in the sky. When first responders need to rush you to a hospital they call on the men and women of HealthNet. Crew members said getting the chopper off the ground isn't as easy as it looks. There's a lot of work that takes place behind the scenes.

HealthNet Pilot John Arisman said, "It starts off in the morning when the pilot comes out and does the preflight check of the aircraft. We'll go underneath the helicopter and check to make sure everything is secure. We look to make sure there aren't any wires that have come undone. We also make sure we don't see any kind of leakage with fuel, oil, etc."

After the aircraft is checked the flight crew has to restock all of the medical supplies. Then they check every piece of health and safety equipment.

There's a lot of team work that takes place. Crews work 24 hour shifts and average four flights a day. They live together, eat together and depend on one another. Every team member has a role to play.

"There's a lot of intricate pieces that work well. If one doesn't function it affects how the others function," said Flight Nurse Jared Copeland. 

It's more than just the flight crew. Mechanics check every inch of the aircraft daily and make repairs when needed. Medcom is responsible for alerting crews that are always on stand-by.

"They're behind the scenes. Nobody ever sees them. Without the information that they provide we can't get to where we need to go," said Arisman.

Crew members said preflight preparation is key to having a successful flight.

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