AAMS conducts inaugural safety academy

 - August 2, 2010, 5:42 AM

The Association of Air Medical Services (AAMS) recently held its first Safety Management Transport Academy. The first four-day course is the initial installment of a two-year program designed to provide “an educational background to people in the air medical and critical-care ground industries about the science and philosophy of safety,” said AAMS executive director Dawn Mancuso. 

“Folks involved in these industries are, many times, passionate about safety but they do not have the academic background and training around safety,” Mancuso said. “They might have some anecdotal information or things they have learned from hard knocks on site. There are some notable exceptions where organizations have safety experts on staff, but the vast majority of the industry has not been exposed to the science of safety, and that is the goal of the school.” 

Twenty-five students participated in the program, sponsored by AAMS and partially underwritten by MedEvac Foundation International. The competency-based program uses formal classroom hours, mandatory student participation and written testing. The broad-based curriculum included risk management, accident investigation, safety management systems, accountability, regulatory oversight and human factors and was taught by faculty from the FAA, industry, the U.S. Army Safety School and other organizations. She said the students represented a broad cross-section of the industry, including medical and flight crews, program managers and directors, and public- and private-sector operators. 

While completion of the course does not yet yield any formal accreditation, graduates will be invited to participate in more in-depth future programs on specific safety management topics. The cost of each four-day session is about $1,800 per participant and the fee includes housing, some meals and all course materials. Mancuso said student feedback from the initial course was “overwhelmingly positive. They loved it.” 

More information on the course is available at the AAMS Web site: www.aams.org.