Medical Helicopters in the Atlanta Area

dmccabe79

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I’ve noticed that the Air Methods birds all talk to Air Comm, the Air Methods communications center in Nebraska, via the known channels in the area. Most of these are published under “Georgia Medical Helicopters”. I noticed Air Life 6, the helicopter based in Covington, mentioned they were talking on the “Conyers Tower”.

Anybody know how many towers in the area they use? I’m trying to narrow down if they’re using frequencies other than what’s published. Also, I assume all of these birds are using the Georgia interop frequencies to talk to the hospitals?

Also, does anybody ever hear Children’s 1? Any idea what they’re dispatching and talking on?
 

SkiBob

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Discovery is the funnest part of the hobby for me and I hope it is for you too. For example, this past week I found that the Georgia Tech PD isn't actually encrypted after all. I also found that the HERO units can be monitored on the Georgia Tech system even though this forum states they are on some non-monitorable system. If I relied on the database for all of my information, I would be missing many many things that I like to monitor. My point is, scan around, be patient, listen, research and discover who and what you are listening to. It's tons of fun.

I don't know what the database says about the medical helicopters in Georgia, but here are some helpful hints.

All of the Air Life helicopters I can hear are on 152.7575. Each tower has a different DCS (DPL). I can monitor 5 towers from my location including Conyers. Listen carefully and they will sometimes say what tower they are on. Match that information with the DCS and there you go.

Air Evac uses different frequencies on different towers. I can monitor 3 from my location.

The only time I am able to monitor Helo to Hospital coms are when they are getting patched in. Otherwise, you rarely hear anything to the hospital.

I have never heard Children's 1. Not sure what they use, but they rarely if ever land on scene. They mostly do hospital transfers.

The best time to search for medical helicopter frequencies is when you know they have been dispatched to a scene from FD or EMS units.

You have to be diligent when trying to discover new frequencies. It's time well spent.
 

MTS2000des

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Cobb County, GA Stadium Crime Zone
AirMethods have XTL5000s with 8 TAC/7 TACs and programming on metro Atlanta trunking systems including NFRRSA, Cobb and Fulton. On our system (Fulton) we setup "AirOps" talkgroups for direct coordination with medical helicopters. I've activated IDs on our core for all of AirMethods birds that respond, and their tech has programmed most of the fleet with our system back in 2017/2018.
 

dmccabe79

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Jan 20, 2013
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Discovery is the funnest part of the hobby for me and I hope it is for you too. For example, this past week I found that the Georgia Tech PD isn't actually encrypted after all. I also found that the HERO units can be monitored on the Georgia Tech system even though this forum states they are on some non-monitorable system. If I relied on the database for all of my information, I would be missing many many things that I like to monitor. My point is, scan around, be patient, listen, research and discover who and what you are listening to. It's tons of fun.

I don't know what the database says about the medical helicopters in Georgia, but here are some helpful hints.

All of the Air Life helicopters I can hear are on 152.7575. Each tower has a different DCS (DPL). I can monitor 5 towers from my location including Conyers. Listen carefully and they will sometimes say what tower they are on. Match that information with the DCS and there you go.

Air Evac uses different frequencies on different towers. I can monitor 3 from my location.

The only time I am able to monitor Helo to Hospital coms are when they are getting patched in. Otherwise, you rarely hear anything to the hospital.

I have never heard Children's 1. Not sure what they use, but they rarely if ever land on scene. They mostly do hospital transfers.

The best time to search for medical helicopter frequencies is when you know they have been dispatched to a scene from FD or EMS units.

You have to be diligent when trying to discover new frequencies. It's time well spent.
Children’s must be using SouthernLinc or something similar. I’ve never heard them anywhere, other than ATC frequencies.

Yes, discovery is a lot of fun. I’m fairly new to this hobby so I’m still figuring it all out. Thanks!
 

U2flyer

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I have firsthand information on the CHOA system. All calls are dispatched via Cell Phone from the transfer center within the CHOA system. They dispatch both helos known as CHOA Air One or Two and various CT trucks known as "CHOA Transport-unit number". The helos are equipped with SouthenLinc however 99.9% of the time all communication is passed via cell phone. All CHOA crew members have EPIC charting and VPN service on a phone made my Zebra that is used by all CHOA facilities. Both Helos have access to P25 700/800 on board with all 7/8 Tac channels as well as VHF HEARS and State Mutual Aid. Anyone monitoring for a hospital report will be out of luck as all reports are done via EPIC and cell phone communication back to the transfer center. However you will hear them throughout ATL on the airband. They are housed at PDK and brought to Egleston every morning around 06:30/07:00. The helicopters are owned by Metro Avation and staffed by CHOA employees.
 

DanRollman

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Atlanta, GA
The helicopters are owned by Metro Avation and staffed by CHOA employees.
Everything you wrote is consistent with what I've heard from CHOA Transport staff too, except one thing: My understanding is that CHOA owns their own helicopters (just as they own their own ground transport trucks). But they've contracted with Puckett EMS to maintain their ground transport trucks and provide a driver, and they've contracted with Metro Aviation to maintain their helicopters and provide a pilot (and thus Metro Aviation holds the FAA certificate). CHOA provides the medical crews for both the ground transport trucks and helicopters, and is able to focus on "working in the back" with the patient, while Puckett and Metro Aviation focus on maintain and operating a fleet. Even though CHOA didn't really want to be in the business of maintaining the fleet and driving/flying it, the belief was that owning the trucks and aircraft makes it easier to change vendors with minimal interruption if Puckett or Metro Aviation were no longer deemed satisfactory.

Metro Aviation serves a lot of 'programs' (as they call them) across the country, and I'm not even sure they own any aircraft; they've really made it their business to provide maintenance and pilot services to other aircraft owners, especially hospital-based programs. See Metro Aviation | Metro Family for a map of other programs they supply pilots for.

Dan
 

DanRollman

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For those interested, here is a great article on CHOA's air transport program and their latest helicopter.

 
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