A couple of air-med questions

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ctrabs74

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1. When monitoring SkyCare, I usually hear a configuration such as "Charlie 9-9-0"; I was wondering what that meant.

2. Something I've noticed, at least in Chester County. It looks as though SkyCare has either picked up more first due over PennSTAR 2, since PennSTAR hasn't been taking as many first-due flights in areas where they normally take emergency flyouts. Last night, SkyCare took a flight out of Berwyn's local; from my past monitoring, if PennSTAR 2 wasn't available, PennSTAR 1 would've taken that flight.

Also, West Chester had PennSTAR 2 as it's first due medevac last year; now it's back to SkyCare. Are there some issues with PS2 where they haven't been taking as many emergency flights (at least in ChesCo) of late?

3. I thought I saw a thread somewhere in this forum where there was a rumor about a 2nd SkyCare bird that would potentially be based at Pottstown/Limerick or in that general area. Last year, there was a rumor that SkyCare was going to base a 2nd ship at Crozer, but that proved to be unfounded. Lately, they've been taking a few more flyouts from Pottstown despite University Medevac 3 being based at Limerick.

FWIW, I have been picking up University Medevac a little bit from Downingtown on my Pro-96; I was never able to pick it up too clearly on my Bearcat (ironically, it was a flight from Pottstown; this was at the same time that SkyCare was returning from Crozer after the flyout for Berwyn).
 

HM1529

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3. I thought I saw a thread somewhere in this forum where there was a rumor about a 2nd SkyCare bird that would potentially be based at Pottstown/Limerick or in that general area. Last year, there was a rumor that SkyCare was going to base a 2nd ship at Crozer, but that proved to be unfounded. Lately, they've been taking a few more flyouts from Pottstown despite University Medevac 3 being based at Limerick.

I just asked the FBO folks at Pottstown Municipal Airport about a month or so ago what was going on with SkyCare. They did confirm that there was a proposal to base a second aircraft out of Pottstown Muni, but said they did not know where it stood at this point.

I don't know anything about your other questions.
 

MedicCop

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Montgomery County's air-medical dispatch cards haven't changed. 1st due, 2nd due, etc is determined by the County EMS office, based on geographic distance from base of operations, to avoid the favoritism (at the patient's expense) shown in other areas.

If SkyCare was dispatched to a scene flight in Pottstown (Montgomery County), it was because MedEvac 3 was unavailable. There are no rules regarding interfacility transports (any hospital can call any air-medical service), so its possible you'll hear SkyCare going in to Pottstown Hospital.

You're probably hearing MedEvac better on your scanner because the dispatch center is now located at Chester County Airport in Coatesville.
 

ctrabs74

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If SkyCare was dispatched to a scene flight in Pottstown (Montgomery County), it was because MedEvac 3 was unavailable. There are no rules regarding interfacility transports (any hospital can call any air-medical service), so its possible you'll hear SkyCare going in to Pottstown Hospital.
These weren't inter-facility transfers; these were flyouts from Memorial Park. That does make sense, though.

You're probably hearing MedEvac better on your scanner because the dispatch center is now located at Chester County Airport in Coatesville.
I can hear the ships better from Downingtown, so that does explain why it comes through better. It sounds like it's both University (Phila.) and Lehigh Valley Medevac services.
 

MedicCop

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If you're hearing transmissions on 155.220, its MidAtlantic (Hahnemann) MedEvac. Lehigh MedEvac is being dispatched off a UHF frequency with towers further north.
 

HM1529

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1. When monitoring SkyCare, I usually hear a configuration such as "Charlie 9-9-0"; I was wondering what that meant.


I'm not completely sure but it may be their tail number. Sometimes medevacs are identified by their tail numbers also.
I don't pay enough attention to that part of their comms to answer for sure, but it is not the tail number. SkyCare's tail number is N906SC.

A comment might be something like, "We're off, Charlie Nine Two One, enroute blah blah blah".
Creighton, what about maybe a mission number? Maybe a designator for waypoint in their data system (such as the LGH pad) I'll have to start paying more attention.
 

matt3320

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hi all my name is mat and i have also heard this on skycare i belive that the charkie nine two one is a way for brandywine base to know the sat on the heicopter as far as gas people on board etc.
 

clifford1

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SkyCare uses a alphanumeric code to communicate their lift-off statistics (fuel status, number of persons on board, etc). I had it explained to me once but I can't remember. The other programs around here use plain english.

Chris C.
 

ctrabs74

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SkyCare uses a alphanumeric code to communicate their lift-off statistics (fuel status, number of persons on board, etc). I had it explained to me once but I can't remember. The other programs around here use plain english.
Based on what you're telling me, it sounds like:

"Charlie" = 3 on board
"Echo" = 5 on board

Or something to that effect.

I guess the numbers do indicate fuel capacity, which does make sense since those numbers seem to decrease from initial takeoff from BWH to L/Z takeoff to return flight to BWH.
 

MedicCop

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I guess the number could be the fuel quantity, in pounds. 990 pounds of JP4 is about 146 gallons. I'm not sure about the MD902, but other EMS aircraft (BK-117, S-76) burn between 80 and 100 gallons per hour, so that puts it on par with the 1:30-2:00 fuel load most EMS helicopters in the area depart for scene missions with...
 

CommJunkie

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As far as I know it is.



I heard SkyCare with their "Charlie 8-8-8" yesterday. I'm confused like everyone else is.
 

MedicCop

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I heard SkyCare with their "Charlie 8-8-8" yesterday. I'm confused like everyone else is.
Based on what's been stated here, that would mean 3 souls, and 888lbs of fuel (approximately 130 US Gal).


With regards to the "medical command" frequencies, don't expect to hear much beyond a very brief patient report on these frequencies. All of the air medical programs in the region have very extensive protocols (much more so than the state EMS protocols). In almost 4 years of flying I've never needed to obtain orders from medical command...
 

CommJunkie

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Based on what's been stated here, that would mean 3 souls, and 888lbs of fuel (approximately 130 US Gal).
I reread the thread and everyone seems to be guessing. It's not like I'm going to lose sleep over it anyway.
 
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