EUA – Na madrugada de segunda-feira (18), um helicóptero AW109, N901EM, da operadora LifeFlight de Maine foi atingido por uma ambulância e provavelmente precisará de uma nova pá do rotor principal. Ninguém ficou ferido quando a ambulância tocou a pá do helicóptero.

A aeronave foi enviada para East Machias, Maine, para atender um paciente, vítima de acidente de trânsito. Por volta da meia noite, quatro pessoas ficaram feridas após o veículo onde estavam colidir com uma árvore na Halls Mills Road, em Whiting. O pouso aconteceu em um campo de atletismo da escola Washington Academy.

A ambulância se aproximou do helicóptero pousado e com os rotores parados, quando atingiu a pá do rotor principal. Outro helicóptero foi despachado para atender o paciente e o helicóptero danificado permaneceu pousado.

Segundo relatos preliminares, a equipe da ambulância e da aeronave estavam cuidando do paciente e pediram a um bombeiro voluntário de East Machias que conduzisse a ambulância até onde o helicóptero estava esperando. O bombeiro dirigiu muito perto da aeronave e acertou a pá da aeronave.

“O bombeiro também atua como despachante do Corpo de Bombeiros de Machias e tem licença para dirigir caminhões de bombeiros para o departamento e ambulâncias da cidade”, disse Bill Kitchen, Prefeito de Machias. Segundo relatos, o dano na ambulância foi mínimo.

A operadora aeromédica LifeFlight of Maine opera três helicópteros AW109 e um avião Beechcraft King Air B200. Em 2020 transportaram 2.266 pacientes e em 2019, 2.237. Desde o início do serviço em 1998, cerca de 40.000 pacientes foram transportados com segurança por via terrestre ou aérea.

Nota da Operadora Aeromédica (CLIQUE AQUI)

Some of you have probably heard that one of our LifeFlight helicopters, N901EM, had a mishap with an ambulance while picking up a patient on scene in East Machias very early Monday morning. Here are 7 important pieces of information about this story that we want everyone to know:

1. Crews from East Machias Fire Rescue, Machias Fire Rescue, Machias EMS, the Washington County Sherriff’s Office, and from other communities were called to the scene of a horrendous motor vehicle crash in the early hours of Monday morning. The professionalism they exhibited and the care they provided for all the patients involved in the accident are the most important pieces of this story.

2. The patient we were called to assist was cared for by a LifeFlight team immediately upon arrival at the landing zone, and was then safely transported to Northern Light EMMC by another LifeFlight helicopter that was already in the air at the time of the call. A third LifeFlight aircraft responded to another patient at one of the coastal hospitals. Sometimes our aircraft hopscotch around as we care for patients in many parts of the state.

3. No one was injured in the inadvertent contact between the ambulance and the helicopter’s main rotor blade. The aircraft was on the ground and not running. In the middle of the night, the lighting was not the best.

4. Out of an abundance of caution, LifeFlight’s partners at SevenBar Aviation and Leonardo Helicopters performed an extensive and detailed engineering analysis to be certain there were no other components damaged.

5. N901EM will be flown back to Bangor today and after final inspections will be returned to service with the LifeFlight teams aboard, responding to calls to care for patients across Maine.

6. No one wants an accident to happen and there’s no question they can be disruptive. But when we experience something like this, we all get back to work as quickly as we can, and most importantly learn from the experience. By working together across the emergency care system we can save lives AND build a better EMS system.

7. All of us at LifeFlight, and everyone in Maine, are eternally in the debt of the EMS and public safety first responders who are there when we need them, 24/365 and at a moment’s notice caring for their neighbors and communities. We are proud to call the EMS, Fire Rescue, and public safety teams in East Machias, Machias, Whiting, and all the surrounding towns and hospitals across Washington County, our colleagues, friends, and partners in care.

In addition to our emergency care partners, we also want to give a big shout out to the Washington County Sherriff’s Office and Washington Academy for their support, and for keeping watch over their unexpected guest.

Thomas Judge, Executive Director, LifeFlight of Maine

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