Intermountain Life Flight Named Winner of Airbus Helicopters Vision Zero Award for Development of Tools to Enhance Safety

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Salt Lake City-based operator to use $10,000 prize to develop mobile app for industry

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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. For more information about the Vision Zero program and the Airbus Helicopters Vision Zero Aviation Safety Award, visit the Association of Air Medical Services website at

Airbus Helicopters Inc. is the leading U.S. provider of new helicopters for air medical transport and emergency medical services with a 70 percent market share over the last decade. The company’s industry leading product range includes high-performance single-engine, light twin-engine and medium twin-engine aircraft.

Airbus Helicopters Inc. is exhibiting at the Air Medical Transport Conference, Booth 727.

About Airbus Helicopters Inc.

Airbus Helicopters Inc. is the U.S. affiliate of Airbus Helicopters, the largest helicopter manufacturer in the world, and a subsidiary of the Airbus Group. Airbus Helicopters Inc. is a manufacturer, markets, sells and supports the broadest range of civil and parapublic helicopters offered in the U.S. The product line represents the industry’s most cost-effective, technologically-advanced helicopters serving all markets and missions. The company’s headquarters and main facility are in Grand Prairie, Texas with a large manufacturing and production facility in Columbus, Miss.

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Bob Cox