Lawmaker Introduces Legislation to Protect Air Emergency Medical Crew

WASHINGTON — Representative John T. Doolittle (R-Roseville) introduced legislation today that would increase safety conditions for patients and medical crew on board emergency medical aircrafts.

"I am pleased to introduce bipartisan legislation today that will increase safety for all those on board an aircraft providing emergency medical services,² Doolittle stated. ³By enacting this legislation, we will not only honor the remarkable sacrifices of those who gave their lives while trying to save others, but in their honor we will also prevent similar tragedies from occurring in the future."

Under current law, an emergency medical crew is permitted to fly under reduced safety standards when there is no patient or organ on board. This has resulted in an increasing number of fatal accidents. The legislation introduced by Representative Doolittle would apply the same safety standards to all emergency medical flights, improving safety conditions for all on board. The bill also directs the Federal Aviation Administration to initiate rules which would implement further safety measures. Representative Doolittle introduced this bill with the support of Representative John Salazar (D-CO).

Congressman Doolittle has worked on this issue with the family of Erin Reed, a former California firefighter and flight nurse who died when her helicopter lost control in inclement weather conditions after delivering a patient to a nearby hospital. Erin¹s family has joined a coalition of friends and family members who have lost loved ones in a medical flight. Their efforts are devoted to making air medical transports safer for the flight crew and patients who take to the skies for emergency medical care.

"My family and I appreciate Mr. Doolittle's efforts to protect flight crews and passengers from flying in unsafe conditions. This bill won't bring Erin back, but it can save the many flight crews that die every year in preventable aviation accidents," said Stacey Friedman, sister of Erin Reed.

U.S. Rep. John T. Doolittle has served in the House of Representatives since 1991. The 4th Congressional District stretches from the eastern Sacramento Region to Lake Tahoe on the south and runs up the Sierra Nevada range to the high desert of Modoc County on the Oregon border in the north. It encompasses the entire counties of El Dorado, Lassen, Modoc, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, and Sierra. Additionally, it includes the community of Orangevale in Sacramento County and the Oroville area in Butte County.

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