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Another medical helicopter crash will continue to raise concern. This week a South Carolina crash killed three crew members. The helicopter had just dropped off a patient at a hospital in Charleston and was flying to Conway, about 90 miles to the northeast, when it crashed about 11:30 p.m. in Georgetown County, said Peter Knudson, an NTSB spokesman.

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 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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