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Lifeguard, medical teams, and STMP/CVRS/GAAP/etc

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Aug 2, 2002
I’ve tried finding the answer to this but can’t find anything. I couldn’t find the regulation or AC from the FAA regarding the STMP and similar programs and searching the forums was no help.

I do a lot of Lifeguard flights with time-critical organs on board. I’m sure you are all familiar with the drill: Fly medical team to BFE, wait around for several hours, fly medical team and organs back as Lifeguard.

The question is: What happens when BFE happens to be under STMP? I would imaging Lifeguard is exempted from the slot requirement. But what about getting in with just the medical team? The easy way would be to file Lifeguard but getting in is usually not an emergency and I don’t like abusing the system.

Does the FAA have any guidance in the matter? What would YOU do? Have any of you actually had to deal with STMP while flying Lifeguard?

BFE, for those of you who are unfamiliar: http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=BFE
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While its been a while since I've flown air ambulance and I don't recall ever having to deal with the Special Traffic program, in the case you mentioned, I'd just file as a lifeguard flight and be done with it. While it is a good idea not to abuse the system, just because the organ isn't on board, you're still on a time critical mission. By filing "lifeguard", you aren't necessarily dealing with an "emergency", but you do need priority handling.
If I remeber the AIM correctly, "Lifeguard" callsign is appropriate for a "medical urgency," and does not require an "emergency." Flying a med team IN to harvest organs certainly qualifies for medical urgency. (C'mon Dude!) Feel free to file Lifeguard when inbound to the organ donor's location!

Lifeguard abuse occurs when your med team has done their work, and are just riding back home. You should call any pilot on the carpet who does this.

If your med team has a patient to get, or onboard, you're Lifeguard. If not, you're November. Hope this helps.

(10 years Lifeguard exp.)

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