Manitoba Medevac

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Roger Ident
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Manitoba Medevac

#1 Post by Roger Ident » Sun Aug 06, 2017 7:32 pm

This thread is meant to discuss legitimate issues. If you are feeling the need to vent frustration please do so without trashing your current employer. If your employer is a tight-fisted micro-manager please save your rant, and march down to their office and speak your mind or quit. This thread is meant to shed light on workplace fatigue and safety concerns that are not being dealt with by legitimate channels...let's get this started...shall we.
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Sidebar
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Re: Manitoba Medevac

#2 Post by Sidebar » Tue Aug 08, 2017 9:05 am

How about some risk assessment by medical staff before they even call for a flight. Is a medevac really necessary in the middle of the night at Podunk with no approach lights, no PAPI, and no weather reporting?
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contactapproved
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Re: Manitoba Medevac

#3 Post by contactapproved » Tue Aug 08, 2017 9:54 am

From my experience I think it all has to do with the company you work for. Since you said no trashing, ill praise instead. The company i've worked for puts no pressure on the crew whatsoever to do a call. If the captain feels there is any elevated risk to doing the call thats their choice on whether its a go or no go, no questions from head office unless its a ridiculous reason that should be questioned. Bad weather...stay put, fatigued...stay put and get shutdown for another round of rest. I was never pressured once to do something that was out of my comfort zone. It showed too in employee morale. Most if not all are happy working there and in return for being treated like human beings, its easy for us to be company minded people and put our best efforts forward for the company while still being safe. I can't say i've heard the same warm fuzzies about other operators doing the same work. When management realizes their people are important and key to bringing in the business in a safe manner and is ok with maybe losing a call or two to keep safety at the forefront, its a good day for all.
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digits_
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Re: Manitoba Medevac

#4 Post by digits_ » Tue Aug 08, 2017 11:48 am

contactapproved wrote:I was never pressured once to do something that was out of my comfort zone. It showed too in employee morale.
Was this in Manitoba?

I'm curious how any medevac pilot in Manitoba (with random flights popping up and constantly switching between day and night shifts) can not be fatigued, or at the very least very tired during a lot of their flights. It seems to me that the difference of "on-call" vs "on-reserve" in the CARS is being abused.

Something like the Ornge system seems to be much better to handle.

Medevac medics should have way more authority to refuse calls that abuse the system. I get that it is not always easy to see, but if the "patient" just straight up says they are faking it for a free ride to CYWG, you should be able to leave those people behind.
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contactapproved
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Re: Manitoba Medevac

#5 Post by contactapproved » Tue Aug 08, 2017 7:16 pm

Yes in Manitoba.
There will always be fatigue in any flying done through the night or in shifts. The difference with this company is they allow the employees to make their own calls on fatigue. You are fatigued, you don't fly, end of story, we trust your call. I can honestly say I never had to call in fatigued though. Maybe I'm just better at managing rest, but very rarely has a 14 hr day be done. I can maybe count the times on one hand I've done a 14 hr day. Usually it's 12 hrs max simply because a trip can't be done in 2 hrs to most places. There a company that does a rolling duty day in the province...I cannot understand how any ops manager or chief pilot can allow that, even if legal.
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fish4life
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Re: Manitoba Medevac

#6 Post by fish4life » Tue Aug 08, 2017 11:26 pm

contactapproved wrote:Yes in Manitoba.
There will always be fatigue in any flying done through the night or in shifts. The difference with this company is they allow the employees to make their own calls on fatigue. You are fatigued, you don't fly, end of story, we trust your call. I can honestly say I never had to call in fatigued though. Maybe I'm just better at managing rest, but very rarely has a 14 hr day be done. I can maybe count the times on one hand I've done a 14 hr day. Usually it's 12 hrs max simply because a trip can't be done in 2 hrs to most places. There a company that does a rolling duty day in the province...I cannot understand how any ops manager or chief pilot can allow that, even if legal.
rolling duty day and the 703 6 months of 15 hour duty days :shock:
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AWOS
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Re: Manitoba Medevac

#7 Post by AWOS » Wed Aug 09, 2017 8:19 pm

Oh my god. I don't know where to begin...

I was very much involved in the medevac scene in Manitoba for three years. The duty days are horrendous, the airports are third world and the lack of organisation as a whole is mind blowing.

With all the movement these days, there is an extreme lack of experience in both the left and right seat. Manitoba Health requirements call for 500 MPIC in order to be a captain. Companies are running into issues finding pilots with Northern experience AND the 500 MPIC who would be willing to take a job for $55,000/yr working 14 on/9 off shifts for a week or two weeks at a time when they could go 705 instead. What they've resorted to hiring in a lot of cases are flight instructors with little to no experience on turboprops or the North, flying in some very difficult conditions while fatigued.

What needs to change is the MPIC requirement to time on type or Northern experience in order to get a flow-through of experienced FOs to the left seat. The days needs to be adjusted to a 12 hour on/off schedule for all companies (no more of this rolling duty day or "oh you got called in and your plane is in maintenance? Go on rest and enjoy your night shift tonight" nonsense). The airports in Manitoba needs to be properly managed and the airport managers and staff need to be held accountable for inaccurate condition reporting or maintenance.


And then there is that one company that hast the rolling duty days.... :roll:

I'm not even going to touch on the medical side of the system.
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Down 3 Green
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Re: Manitoba Medevac

#8 Post by Down 3 Green » Sat Aug 19, 2017 4:44 am

Is Manitoba the only province where Medevac Companies make Transport scared. I hope that with the major pilot shortage that it guts that province. Until Transport Canada can sort out their inabilities to uphold the CARs in reference to fatigue and duty day limitations, pilots will be constantly faced with the choice between losing their jobs or risking safety.... or as the company's management state... "you have to learn to manage your sleep better"... while they sip their cocktails and sleep good at night. How about forming a province-wide union...
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valleyboy
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Re: Manitoba Medevac

#9 Post by valleyboy » Sat Aug 19, 2017 6:15 am

At the end of the day it's all about the money. The cut throat bidding just leads to abuse of the one area which has the most rolling costs, pilots !! These operators have proven that safety is not their real concern. It's all about the bottom line. The other side of the coin is that most low time pilots do not know or have the balls to deal with this because they are so worried about getting that "dream" job. You made you bed so be prepared to sleep in it. Experience will give you the tools to deal with these situations without looking like a whining, chicken sh1t green horn.

The other side of the coin, these operators manipulate the CARs to their convenience and 703 is so outdated, especially in the FDT area it's time for the regulators to get off their ass and pass the new regs. Mix fatigue with inexperience the issue is magnified for 2 reasons. The invisibility attitude of young pilots and still developing muscle memory. It just seems older pilots admit when they are tired or the wx is duff. That group will likely have more of a tendency to shut it down. While accidents are few in the medevac world there have been some and inexperience played a part in a few that I know of and wx and fatigue in others. I'm amazed where some operators still think there is 28 hours in a day.
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Re: Manitoba Medevac

#10 Post by FOD_Vacuum » Sat Aug 19, 2017 3:38 pm

I have been doing medevacs in Manitoba for a couple years now and quite like the job in terms of different diagnosis in patients, random destinations and never knowing what you are up against, which makes the job itself exciting. It's great to have a family-like atmosphere with your crew who you become close with. You go cook together, do stuff and experience some life changing things together. The pay, schedule and benefits are great too! The company I work for has no problem taking my word if my crew is fatigued or the aircraft is snagged. It IS a business still, just like any other business, it wants to make money. They know and understand if they want to grow and try become Canada's top 703 company, a bad reputation of crashes and accidents won't look good. So they are great, and I have never felt the pressure. Sure the younger guys may feel this but you have to get over this feeling, since this is what will run you into trouble down the road, and that will be on you. If you aren't able to speak up and say your mind, in my opinion you aren't built for medevacs and should fly elsewhere.

The REAL issue is an outdated system with the duty hours that medevac crews obide by, just like any other 703 operator. Transport NEEDS to make this a priority and push this through the system and make new and better duty hours. I have seen countless errors and close calls flying around that were directly related to fatigue. A human is not built to get called at 11pm and fly for 15 hours until 2pm the next day. As for new guys doing medevacs, if you are tired and feel unsafe to fly, speak up and say it. If the company you work for penalizes you for it, give me your resume and we will gladly look at your application.
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BushRatt
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Re: Manitoba Medevac

#11 Post by BushRatt » Sat Aug 19, 2017 9:07 pm

Back in the day... ( 20 years, to be exact) there was one company in northern Manitoba that did not have the rolling duty day( or whatever you call it). The aircraft where staffed 24/7 with two crews. You did not duty out away from base. If need be, you called in a crew early, but you did not duty out away from base.
It worked great! The plane was always available to create revenue for the company, (which is what it's really all about). Turn over was minimal, because the crews could actually have a lifestyle. Due to the minimal turn over, training & maintenance costs where also reduced.
Unfortunately most operators are dense and just don't get it. In an effort to skirt the regulations,and to save on expenses, they cheap out with the one plane, one crew concept.
Why have a plane stuck away from base, with a dutied out crew, when it could be creating more revenue with a fresh crew? You only have to do this once a month, to generate the revenue to pay for the second crew.
...just saying, bin there done that!
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Re: Manitoba Medevac

#12 Post by valleyboy » Sun Aug 20, 2017 8:52 am

The aircraft where staffed 24/7 with two crews.
--

What a concept. Where did that go. Time for a little history lesson, BTW 20 years is recent history to some and the erosion of sensible thinking started long before that. Let's go back close to 40 years and look at how medevacs were conducted. Ontario had a dedicated, contracted airplane and Manitoba along with most provinces provincial governments handled most code 3&4 calls (not sure if they still code that way) code 3 was emergency but stable and up to 8 hours for hospital care and code 4 life and death. Code one & 2 simple transfers. The term "medevac" was used only on code 4 and inbound with patient on code 3 and down graded by the doctor if patient was stable. We took our turn in line unless it was an actual emergency. That call sign additive is one of the most abused things of present day aviation but having said that I get it. This is the age of "cover your ass thinking" -- sorry I'm drifting.

So year 2 crews and 12 hour shifts were standard. Not often did a crew get caught away from base. The night shift would start early if there was a late call and visa versa. One could always extend a duty day to get the aircraft home and with 12 hour shifts rest was always there and a 3 hour buffer back then because legal duty days were 15 hours. The salaries were excellent for the day and I know the they were paying north of $40,000 for a king air 200 capt. That was circa 1979/80. There were also strict minimums for crew and especially captain experience. I can't recall exactly but I suspect it would exclude and disqualify up to 90% of today's medevac Beach captains.

The down fall:

Then when it comes for contract renewal circa 1987-8 (Ontario) The then contract holder (after treating pilots so well) is blind sided by a low ball contender, obviously at that level of government, there is no consideration for standards, let alone safety and the contract goes to the lowest bidder. That bidder won the contract by chopping crew salaries by about half and crewing with inexperienced crews and obtaining waivers to operate with crews below published requirements. None of the existing crews stayed, for obvious reasons. Shortly there after there was a fatal accident.

Medevac pilots are victims of the times. It's about operators bidding so low to get the work and then having to cut corners to make a buck. It is magnified by the times. I find it totally ironic that pilot qualification requirements have dropped by about 50 % in the last year. Pretty soon mom and pop will be hiring direct entry captains from the schools and 200 hours with a cat 1 multi will be the standard "HO" captain or Bch 200 captain under 703.

Present day for ontario -- PC-12's -- really!! but that is whole other story!!!!

I have no knowledge on how the fling wing side operates --
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Re: Manitoba Medevac

#13 Post by Down 3 Green » Sun Sep 03, 2017 5:31 pm

FOD_Vacuum wrote:I have been doing medevacs in Manitoba for a couple years now and quite like the job in terms of different diagnosis in patients...
What different diagnosis in patients?? Most of the patients have minor injuries or suicidal tendencies. Its same ole same ole. I'm thinking you are dilusional. I'm sure you think you are making a difference by what you do. You obviously don't make any decisions nor stand up to management when they ask you to fly unpressurized with a patient that requires a cabin of 2,000'. I bet you have not said no to any company requests nor have any responsibility.
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Illya Kuryakin
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Re: Manitoba Medevac

#14 Post by Illya Kuryakin » Sun Sep 03, 2017 6:54 pm

Best line regarding medevacs I've ever heard came from a New Zealand doctor. It appears somebody had broken a leg quite badly in the bush. The pilot asked "How hard do we push on this one.....?" Doctor replied "No harder than you'd push getting to the store for bread...."

The pressure to "git 'er done" is most often perceived by the crew. There's "a life" at risk. Bullshit. Most often, it's not at all a crises. The sked is gone for the day and suddenly everything's CODE ONE? Nope. If there's no WX, you're bushed, park it. You're no good being the next passenger on the next medevac, or worse.

I'll never fly another medevac flight. I don't agree with the mindset. It's dangerous. To say the least.
Illya
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Re: Manitoba Medevac

#15 Post by FOD_Vacuum » Sun Sep 03, 2017 11:44 pm

Down 3 Green wrote:
FOD_Vacuum wrote:I have been doing medevacs in Manitoba for a couple years now and quite like the job in terms of different diagnosis in patients...
What different diagnosis in patients?? Most of the patients have minor injuries or suicidal tendencies. Its same ole same ole. I'm thinking you are dilusional. I'm sure you think you are making a difference by what you do. You obviously don't make any decisions nor stand up to management when they ask you to fly unpressurized with a patient that requires a cabin of 2,000'. I bet you have not said no to any company requests nor have any responsibility.
Quite the bold and uninformed statement to make for someone who doesn't know me, don't you think?
Let me be clear that I am not dilisional and clarify your assumptions. I have been flying medevacs for over two years and have flown all sorts of injured and sick people. Diagnosis ranges from pregnant, GI bleed, stab wound, broken bones, suicidal, heart and stroke patients, mrsa+, seizures, drug overdoses, organ failures (kidney, heart, liver, lungs etc), infant/pnomonia cases, work site accidents, palative care patients, pre and post surgery patients, diabetic arm and limb removal, psychiatric patients, medical appointment patients, organ transport etc the list goes on. So no, it's not just the "same ole same ole". I have unfortunately had deaths as well, but that is part of the job. We do fly sick people who are stable initially but sometimes make a turn for the worse.

First of all, if you have to "stand up to management" from what you are saying, you are simply at the wrong company. I pride myself in making the safest decision possible for the patients and crew that management never questions. If they did, I will pack my bags and leave the outfit as I see a great risk for the operation if management pushes you, especially when crews can get tired doing overnight medevacs. So please, retract your statement and get to know me first before saying what you said. You must be "delusional" for thinking I would fly a patient in an un-pressurized cabin that requires 2000 feet. If someone requires that, I provide them with that, and nothing higher. If I need higher (maybe 3000 feet cabin for weather) I will ask my nurse who will check vitals and cross check charts and give me the thumbs up or down, and I respect that.
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Re: Manitoba Medevac

#16 Post by AWOS » Mon Sep 04, 2017 5:46 pm

FOD_Vacuum wrote:
Down 3 Green wrote:
FOD_Vacuum wrote:I have been doing medevacs in Manitoba for a couple years now and quite like the job in terms of different diagnosis in patients...
What different diagnosis in patients?? Most of the patients have minor injuries or suicidal tendencies. Its same ole same ole. I'm thinking you are dilusional. I'm sure you think you are making a difference by what you do. You obviously don't make any decisions nor stand up to management when they ask you to fly unpressurized with a patient that requires a cabin of 2,000'. I bet you have not said no to any company requests nor have any responsibility.
Quite the bold and uninformed statement to make for someone who doesn't know me, don't you think?
Let me be clear that I am not dilisional and clarify your assumptions. I have been flying medevacs for over two years and have flown all sorts of injured and sick people. Diagnosis ranges from pregnant, GI bleed, stab wound, broken bones, suicidal, heart and stroke patients, mrsa+, seizures, drug overdoses, organ failures (kidney, heart, liver, lungs etc), infant/pnomonia cases, work site accidents, palative care patients, pre and post surgery patients, diabetic arm and limb removal, psychiatric patients, medical appointment patients, organ transport etc the list goes on. So no, it's not just the "same ole same ole". I have unfortunately had deaths as well, but that is part of the job. We do fly sick people who are stable initially but sometimes make a turn for the worse.

First of all, if you have to "stand up to management" from what you are saying, you are simply at the wrong company. I pride myself in making the safest decision possible for the patients and crew that management never questions. If they did, I will pack my bags and leave the outfit as I see a great risk for the operation if management pushes you, especially when crews can get tired doing overnight medevacs. So please, retract your statement and get to know me first before saying what you said. You must be "delusional" for thinking I would fly a patient in an un-pressurized cabin that requires 2000 feet. If someone requires that, I provide them with that, and nothing higher. If I need higher (maybe 3000 feet cabin for weather) I will ask my nurse who will check vitals and cross check charts and give me the thumbs up or down, and I respect that.
Yeah, that's a great speech to give to a girl at a bar but as someone who did medevacs in MB for a while, I know for a fact that we're just a glorified after-hours sched 90% of the time. The medevac pilot "hero" mindset is very cringy.
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