Erasmus: When we get a call out, we have a quick meeting between the team members to discuss the mission on hand and what we expect from each other. We will decide together whether it is safe and appropriate to accept the task. It is the pilot’s responsibility to get the medical team to the patient as soon as possible. We need to closely monitor the weather, as Mali is a landlocked country with a variety of seasonal weather conditions from week-long sand storms to intense tropical storms and microbursts, along with year-round heat extremes.
Amm: The Medical Team Leader will obtain as much information as possible about the patient, prior to the flight leaving, in order to be as well-prepared as possible for the potential conditions they will have to treat. Upon arrival on scene, the crew will determine whether the aircraft can shut down completely while the patient is assessed and treated, or whether the environment is too unsafe (in which case, the medical crew may need to perform a “hot onload” of the patient, with the helicopter engines still running). On arrival at the appropriate destination, the patient will be offloaded from the aircraft by the medical team and handed over to medical staff at the receiving facility.