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Dangers of air operations

Those of us who benefit from these important airborne assets must always consider the risks versus benefits of calling a helicopter


Our sincere condolences to the Pima County, Ariz.,Sheriff's Department and the family of pilot Loren Leonberger after this tragic helicopter crash Monday.

We often take helicopters for granted in the fire and emergency services.

Like many of you, I've experienced the uplifting feeling of hearing approaching rotor blades while working a critical patient.

However, this story also reinforces the inherent danger of air operations, even in a routine situation with a very experienced pilot.

The availability of helicopters for medevac, search and rescue (SAR), aerial reconnaissance, and wildland firefighting missions continues to improve across the United States.

That's generally a good thing, but those of us who benefit from these important airborne assets must always consider the risks versus benefits of calling a helicopter; especially to the brave men and women who operate them.

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