Fireworks spark saftey concerns for CareFlight

Fireworks spark safety concern for CareFlight

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – When you think of the dangers of fireworks you might only think about mishaps on the ground, but those who fly in order to save lives consider the risks as well.

On June 14 just before midnight, three members of CareFlight heard a “boom,” saw a flash, and felt the aircraft shake.  They were landing with a patient at Dayton Children’s Hospital. Beth Calcidise is the Program Manager of CareFlight Air Mobile Services.

“Anytime we have a incident, the crews are a little shaken, because we’re out there, we’re highly trained, highly skilled individuals, but It does give you a little bit of pause,” said Calcidise.

Two of the flight nurses thought it might have been fireworks and the police report indicates there was another call about something similar happening around the same time, but officers didn’t locate any suspects.

Lt. Andrew Booher, Dayton Police Department, told 2 NEWS Investigates, “We do catch anybody with fireworks whether it’s possession or setting off fireworks in the city, it’s a misdemeanor charge so we’ll ticket them and confiscate their fireworks.”

Police expect activity to pick up now and they rely on residents to report concerns right away.  Sparklers, snaps, and glow snakes are allowed, anything bigger will probably get you into trouble in Ohio.

CareFlight says it does receive notice from some communities about upcoming fireworks displays, but those aren’t usually close to hospitals.  It’s residents who can spark safety concerns.

“We would land in a field, we would land in a parking lot as long as it was safe to get to stop, we have to stop at that point especially if that flash, that vibration, that’s a safety issue for us,” explained Calcidise.

“The big thing is as soon as they hearing the fireworks they let us know so we can address the problem before someone gets hurt,” said Lt. Booher.

No one was hurt on June 14 and once a mechanic checked the helicopter is was back in business.  The FAA was also notified.

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