9th Oct 2011, 19:05
anyone know the new regulations regarding a close escort vehicle escorting an ambulance airside to uplift patient from aircraft. I understood that the close escort vehilce must remain with the ambulance at all times until it is escorted back off through security and not leave it at anytime.:confused:
10th Oct 2011, 15:15
As long as we have an escort there isn't a problem, also provides an extra body with moving the patient.
10th Oct 2011, 15:51
The rules are going to be determined locally. Every airport I've worked at handled such things differently - some with no specific rules at all. First place to look would be the Aerodrome Manual.
10th Oct 2011, 19:38
thanks spitoon, unfortunately we were positioned benind an aircraft in a very vulnerable position with a very sick patient on board and had to extracate ourselves 300 yards to the security gates. They are now saying we broke the rules but wont say what rules.
10th Oct 2011, 19:42
we had an internal escort on the ambulance but no High Vis so she could'nt leave the vehicle. The close escort vehicle which positioned us behind the stand drove off and we never seen it again. We were left to our own devices to approach the aircraft after it reaching its stand. Now they are trying to blame us for their misdemeanors.
10th Oct 2011, 23:21
The ambulance should have never been left alone. External ambulances driven by medics without airside driving permits and the associated training are at serious risk of putting themselves and their patients in danger and are a hazard to all airport staff and passangers.
Of course, the provision to get external emergency services into the airport quickly is essential and there must be a robust procedure in place to deal with such an event.
As an example, at Manchester there is some good practice in operation, there is a local arrangement for the Police to escort all external ambulances along the airside road system as the airport police all hold AOA (road system) permits and some hold Permit B (manoeuvring area – free to roam). The police are then responsible for staying with the ambulance and ensuring that it gets back off the airfield, with the casualty, in an expeditious and safe manner.
In the event of a major incident Airfield Operations are responsible for escorting all external services and will request the appropriate ATC clearance if required for taking escorted vehicles onto the manoeuvring area.
A close escort vehicle that’s positioned behind you is about as much use as a trap door on a lifeboat (much like an internal escort with no High Vis). They should have been ahead of you at all times and if necessary they should have been able to escort you along a taxiway to prevent you from getting stuck behind an aircraft with a poorly patient on board.
I would consider what you have described to be a total failure of the procedures that should be in place. I would write it up and report it to your boss, the airport’s safety manager, the airfield operations manager, the emergency planning manager and would even include the SRG of the CAA (the aerodrome inspector would not be happy with this sort of failing at all).
If something is happening that shouldn’t be – put a stop to it!
The UK has a very positive safety culture of open reporting and ‘no blame’ so you have nothing to fear from speaking up.
12th Oct 2011, 13:17
Beeps - were you in the ambulance? If you were, get your union to tell the airport to get lost. Also, drop these clowns in the moo with the CAA. You don't need to know what the rules are, that is someone else's job. Jobsworths and other such scum will try and make a big deal out non-compliance with their own petty and pointless rules, let them, but withdraw all emergency cover. And do that via the local press. If they want ambulance cover, they do the work, not you! And is it dangerous airside without Hi Viz? Well, most people have no trouble spotting fist sized FOD from the flight deck at night so anything larger is ridiculously easy to spot. Remember, muggers now wear Hi Viz jackets to hide in busy high streets. They attract less attention than hoodies. When driving, the only place I'd find you difficult to avoid would be on a runway when I'm travelling at speed or if you crossed in front of me on taxyway when arriving from a blind spot.
Oh, and thank you. You guys do an excellent job.
12th Oct 2011, 18:26
All sounds a bit strange beeps, but sadly not completely surprising. There are a whole bunch of questions that come to mind from what you describe. The ones that are important to you are...
Did the escort driver brief you at all about what they would do?
Did your internal escort say anything to you at any time?
Why did you think that you were left in a vulnerable position? (This may help you to argue that it was safer to move than to stay where you were).
What was between you and the security gate?
What are the rules for escorting a vehicle?
Overall, if you were not briefed by your escort (either driver or internal) and you otherwise did what you were told it would seem that the aerodrome operator let you down badly.
Another question - when you say 'they' are trying to blame you, who is they? People on the Security Gate or someone else?
If it helps, in general terms, a vehicle driver in your position should be briefed about what the escort driver will do and what you must do - both if everything goes well and if there's a problem (if you break down for example). If you are not familiar with the airside environment you should never be left unsupervised - hence the question about what your internal escort said or did - if she couldn't tell you what to do you shouldn't have been left alone.
I'm not trying to suggest I don't believe you - but we've only got your side of the story. Anything like this should be properly investigated to get everybody's perspective on events - a professional approach from the aerodrome would be to try and find out how this happened rather than to simply try to blame you for breaking the rules. Depending on what happened at the time and has happened since I wouldn't be inclined to tell the CAA unless you are absolutely in the right and you have exhausted other avenues of pursuit.
Sorry for a bunch of random thoughts but time is a bit tight for me right now but drop me a PM with a bit more info if you want and I'll see if I can come up with anything more specific.