Dr. Andrew McCallum, Ornge President and CEO, took part in Underwater Escape Training
April 1, 2016
1 April, 2016
Last autumn, I had an opportunity to participate in the Underwater Escape Training course alongside our Board Chair Ian Delaney and Advanced Care Paramedic Derek Wharrie. The training was extremely valuable and I was pleased to learn firsthand about underwater escape techniques and life raft skills.
Dr. Andrew McCallum
Ornge President and CEO
Safety is a key priority at Ornge, and we have a dedicated and experienced aviation team working to ensure patients and crews are safe when they fly with us. Our Aircraft Maintenance Engineers maintain our fleet of aircraft to the highest standards and our robust Safety Management System addresses safety concerns.
The nature of aviation means that our staff must be prepared for every type of emergency, including the ability to exit a helicopter under water. Underwater Escape Training (UET), equips our staff with the necessary skills and knowledge so that in the event of an emergency, they can evacuate and escape from a ditched/capsized aircraft.
Ornge paramedics and pilots spend one day at a UET and Sea Survival course that consists of both theoretical and practical components. In the morning, crews participate in a classroom environment where they learn about hazards, equipment, aircraft procedures, preflight emergency evacuation, aircraft upright evacuation, and survival theory and signals.
In the afternoon, staff move to a pool in order to complete their practical training, using emergency evacuation rafts and an Aircraft Ditching Egress Practical Trainer (ADEPT). ADEPT is an aircraft simulator configured to match our cockpit layout; it trains staff to exit an aircraft through the emergency window while upside down and underwater.
Underwater Escape Training Facts
Survival Systems Training provides Ornge’s UET sessions.
- Ornge offers 13 UET sessions each year.
- 76 staff members have been scheduled to undergo this training.
- New employees participate in UET within their first year at Ornge.
- Full recertification, including a practical session, is required for all pilots and paramedics every three years.
- In addition to the practical component, pilots and paramedics must annually complete an on-line review and test/assessment for UET/Sea Survival Training.
- Over the past year, Underwater Escape Training has taken place at seven pools across the province