Medical transport pilots have new tool for night vision

By Sherea Harris

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Medical transport company, Lifesaver, has eqipped its helicopter pilots with new equipment they say not only helps in saving patients, but it also also makes their job safer.

Pilots and crew members are now wearing helmets with mounted night vision goggles.

Air medical transport is more dangerous in the air when it's dark.

The goggles make it easier for pilots to identify any hazards in the air or on the ground.

The goggles are able to amplify 2 to 3 thousand times more light, making it safer for patients and everyone on board during a medical transport.

"Some of the rural hospitals we go to, they don't always have improved landing zones or helipads like the one here at our hospital, said Jason Peterson with Children's Hospital Critical Care Transport. "Sometimes we are landing in a parking lot or grassy area next to a hospital."

Wyatt Roscoe, a Lifesaver line pilot said, "The night vision goggles take infrared and also visible light and amplify it and the resulting image allow us to see much clearer brighter at night time."

The goggles will soon be used with the Children's Hospital Critical Care Transport. Crew members are already trained on how to use them.

This technology is relatively new though it's been used overseas in the military.  And now, it's slowly making it's way to the civilian air medical industry.

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