Helicopters Magazine

Intermountain Life Flight wins Airbus Helicopters Vision Zero award

October 21, 2015  By Airbus Helicopters

Intermountain HealthCare Life Flight of Salt Lake City is the 2015 Vision Zero Aviation Safety Award recipient for its development of safety risk assessment tools to help guide flight decisions and flight crew status.

Jennifer Hardcastle, Air Medical Sales Manager for Airbus Helicopters Inc., presented the award and a $10,000 check to Intermountain representatives Monday at the Air Medical Transport Conference Annual Community Awards Banquet in Long Beach, Calif.

Created by Airbus Helicopters Inc. in 2007 and presented annually, the Vision Zero Award promotes safety in the air medical industry. The award recognizes a program or company that has demonstrated a commitment to aviation safety, spotlights specific safety initiatives and encourages the sharing of ideas so others in the industry may learn from them. An industry committee judges the competition.

“Airbus Helicopters Inc. is proud to present the Vision Zero Award to Intermountain for its leadership in improving the safety of air medical transport operations,” said Hardcastle.

Since it began service in 1978, Salt Lake City-based Intermountain Life Flight has transported more than 90,000 patients by helicopter, fixed-wing and ground ambulance to hospitals across Utah and the Intermountain West. Intermountain air medical teams include adult, pediatric, neonatal and respiratory specialists.


Intermountain staff, as part of on-going safety improvement efforts, developed a series of risk assessment tools to evaluate the health, well-being and readiness of flight crew members. Program Director Pam Moore said the assessments are designed to identify signs of fatigue.

“We know fatigue is a huge contributor to errors, impairing decision-making, and cognitive function, yet people rarely recognize fatigue in themselves,” Moore said. “Our tools provide an objective measurement of fatigue by looking at recent health, sleep, workload and workload acuity.”

With its $10,000 award, Intermountain plans to develop a mobile application that will incorporate these assessment tools. The app will calculate a flight crew’s readiness score, with cautionary warnings and alerts, and advise the individual, crew members, operational controllers and managers of their flight status in real time.

“Our No. 1 concern is ensuring the safety of our crews and patients,” Moore said. “We are very connected to our colleagues and competitors across the world, and we are thrilled to have the opportunity to develop an application that could improve the safety of the entire transport community.”

All air transport programs and operators that are members of the Association of Air Medical Services (AAMS) are eligible to apply for the Vision Zero Aviation Safety Award.


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