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Every once in a while we will see the local air ambulance fly over the office in St Cloud. I have had a number of clients who were saved though the quick response and ability to reach quality medical specialists, but recent stories should raise concerns about the safety of this transportation.

The NTSB issued a special report in 2006 highlighting issues that had caused an upsurge in emergency helicopter crashes, particularly during nighttime and in poor visibility. In 2008, the number of crashes was a record. The crashes haven’t always harmed the patients, but the number of ambulance personnel has been staggering. The rate of fatalities per 100,000 air-ambulance employees over the past 10 years exceeds other dangerous professions such as logging or deep-sea fishing, said Ira Blumen, program director of the University of Chicago Aeromedical Network.

While these recoveries will be vital to saving lives and helping injured parties through out the state to get top care, it clearly looks like there are extra dangers that are added. I’ve always thanked the medical personnel when they’ve helped my clients in the past and I will make sure to give the ambulance personnel an extra thank you.

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