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What Does "life Guard" Mean?  
User currently offlineYhmfan From Canada, joined Feb 2004, 607 posts, RR: 0
Posted (10 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 5961 times:

I was reading the CVR transcript for TWA 800 and I noticed a reference to the flight being "life guard". I seem to remember reading somewhere that it means the AC had a patient on board but I am not sure. In any case, what is the difference for the ATC?


Here is the relevant part of the transcript:


2007: 50 CAM-1 you need to get taxi clearance.
2007: 52 RDO-2 Kennedy gate hold TWA's eight hundred heavy we're lifeguard ah we're ready to taxi out delta alpha with tango.
2008: 01 GH TWA eight hundred all right contact ground one two one point niner for the taxi inform them that you are lifeguard.
2008: 04 CAM-3 after start checklist complete.
2008: 07 RDO-2 roger.
2008: 13 RDO-2 Kennedy ground TWA's eight hundred heavy lifeguard comin' out delta alpha with tango.
2008: 19 GND ah TWA eight hundred heavy ah you're a life guard today?
2008: 24 RDO-2 yes sir.
2008: 25 GND you know every day you come out and we don't know that you're a lifeguard and then you tell us you are and ah if you could tell company to ah you know ah put that in their flight plan ah it would help us out alot.
2008: 38 RDO-2 TWA's eight hundred understand I don't think they knew it either until the last minute.
2008: 41 GND all right TWA eight hundred taxi right on alpha and hold short of echo.



If at first you don't succeed, skydiving is not for you
31 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineFedExDC-10 From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 196 posts, RR: 2
Reply 1, posted (10 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 5939 times:

Lifeguard means that the aircraft is carrying critical medical cargo, such as organs.

FedExDC-10


User currently offlineCoa764 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 328 posts, RR: 3
Reply 2, posted (10 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 5916 times:

A "lifeguard" call-sign is given to a flight that is transporting vital organs for immediate transplant.


Please oh please Mr Moderator Nazi, dont delete my thread.
User currently offlineL-188 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 29690 posts, RR: 59
Reply 3, posted (10 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 5910 times:

Really close.

Lifeguard is a callsign used by any medivac aircraft on a mission. That can include flying organs on a commercial flight like Fed-ExDc-10 said, or dedicated Air Ambulance aircraft flying accident site to Hospital, or doing Hospital to Hospital flights.

The callsign can be used by the aircraft going outboud to pick up and when the paitent is onboard. A flight that is returning empty will not use the callsign.



OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
User currently offlineAirxLiban From Lebanon, joined Oct 2003, 4504 posts, RR: 54
Reply 4, posted (10 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 5906 times:

is this the TWA 800?


PARIS, FRANCE...THE BEIRUT OF EUROPE.
User currently offlineJumboBumbo From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (10 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 5906 times:

Thanks kind of sad to know there could have been an "ancillary" casualty to TWA 800 if someone's organ didn't arrive.


User currently offlineCoa764 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 328 posts, RR: 3
Reply 6, posted (10 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 5893 times:

The call sign, in ref to commercial aircraft, is meant to be used ONLY with organs needed for immediate transplant at the down-line station.


Please oh please Mr Moderator Nazi, dont delete my thread.
User currently offlineFedExDC-10 From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 196 posts, RR: 2
Reply 7, posted (10 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 5882 times:

Well when I said critical medical cargo, I meant for that to include patients as well LOL (Cargo, yeah I know, sounds bad). Although I've never heard medivac flights use "Lifeguard" on frequency, interesting. The airport I fly out of has some based there and I've never heard them use that, even one time when a medivac helo flew into the airport to pick someone up. Perhaps it's just understood that you just get the hell outta their way.

FedExDC-10


User currently offlinePROSA From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 5576 posts, RR: 5
Reply 8, posted (10 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 5868 times:

IIRC, Flight 800 was carrying corneas for transplant.


"Let me think about it" = the coward's way of saying "no"
User currently offlineL-188 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 29690 posts, RR: 59
Reply 9, posted (10 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 5846 times:

I work in the dispatch office for a 135 carrier that provides aircraft services to one of the medivac providers.

So I end up filing "lifeguard" quite a bit



OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
User currently offlineCoa764 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 328 posts, RR: 3
Reply 10, posted (10 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 5832 times:

The ironic thing is eyes are not considered criteria for commercial "lifeguard" they are not a life threatening transplant and can wait. Commercial lifeguard flights get a very high priority. Basically the controllers will move, spin, reroute, slowdown, speed up, and hold all other flights to a lifeguard destination to expedite the flights landing. That is why issuing the designation is a big deal and you do not hear it to much. There really has to be real need for the controller to give such a high priority to a fight without declaring an emergency.


Please oh please Mr Moderator Nazi, dont delete my thread.
User currently offlineCoa764 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 328 posts, RR: 3
Reply 11, posted (10 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 5793 times:

L-188 no disrespect but the "Lifeguard" call sign is meant to be used only in the event of transporting organs for immediate life dependent transplant. If you are transporting a liver for transplant a few days later you technically should not re-designate you call sign. Local controllers have to treat a Lifeguard flight with a very high priority and can end up spinning traffic to move your flight up. This not only creates a safety issue but an equability issue for those that are holding. 121 ops have to designate via the ATCSCC web through the TCA and they do ask.. Just an FYI..
Cheers.
COA764 (US Flag 121 airline Dispatcher/Air Traffic Coordinator)



Please oh please Mr Moderator Nazi, dont delete my thread.
User currently offlineL-188 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 29690 posts, RR: 59
Reply 12, posted (10 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 5760 times:

Go loves 135 operators  Laugh out loud

The only time we use the lifeguard call, is for medivac calls, which up here for our operation is pretty much strictly emergency patient transports.

I get the feeling that we might be arguing the same point here Big grin



OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
User currently offlineF9Fan From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 695 posts, RR: 3
Reply 13, posted (10 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 5741 times:

Can a "lifeguard" designation be given to a flight in mid-air if a medical emergency develops on board, such as a passenger breaks a bone when a plane encounters some mid-air turbulence? Or would they declare an emergency in that case?

F9Fan


User currently offlineL-188 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 29690 posts, RR: 59
Reply 14, posted (10 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 5737 times:

Nope, that is something different.

By using the Lifeguard designation when you file the flightplane you tip off the FAA that you are on the way so your controlers have a chance to plan ahead and avoid spinning traffic.



OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
User currently offlineYhmfan From Canada, joined Feb 2004, 607 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (10 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 5722 times:

Thanks everyone for your answers. This is what I love about this forum. Lots of knowledgeable participants.

If PROSA is right and TWA 800 was carrying only corneas, does this mean that it was using the lifeguard call improperly?

I don't remember reading anything about it on the NTSB investigation. One would expect a reference because the time the aircraft spent on the ground before take off was an issue vis-a-vis the heating of the fuel tanks by the airconditioning units. (in other words, a lifeguard flight would not have spent much time waiting for take off)



If at first you don't succeed, skydiving is not for you
User currently offlineCoa764 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 328 posts, RR: 3
Reply 16, posted (10 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 5723 times:

No, that is declared as a Medical Emergency ..

L-188.. Didn't realize there was any 135 left.. I thought it was either 91 or 121 now.. Are you Helicopter ops (I know now nothing about that)?



Please oh please Mr Moderator Nazi, dont delete my thread.
User currently offlineAviaar From United States of America, joined Jul 2001, 244 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (10 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 5715 times:

Do life-guards get special departure priorities?


I'd rather be flying (real original)
User currently offlineL-188 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 29690 posts, RR: 59
Reply 18, posted (10 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 5696 times:

Nope, fixed wing.

135 is alive and well up in Alaska.

Just can't fly anything sched. with over 9 seats. We don't. So strictly charter work.



OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
User currently offlineCoa764 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 328 posts, RR: 3
Reply 19, posted (10 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 5675 times:

Aviaar---Well yes but they get special handling by ATC your companies departure procedures are still controlling

L-188---Alaska.. COOL, I have never been but want to go! The farthest north I have been out there in the rugged country is Glacier National Park in NW Montana...



Please oh please Mr Moderator Nazi, dont delete my thread.
User currently offlineJhooper From United States of America, joined Dec 2001, 6199 posts, RR: 12
Reply 20, posted (10 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 5625 times:

Here's today's "Fastest Finger" question! Put these flights in the correct order of ATC priority.......

a) a "Lifeguard" flight
b) a "Rescue" flight
c) Air Force One
d) An aircraft in distress?



Last year 1,944 New Yorkers saw something and said something.
User currently offlineFlyingDoctorWu From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 307 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (10 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 5620 times:

I didnt realize that organs really flew commercially...
the institution i'm at flies its organs privately.. basically we send the transplant team out in either a kingair 200 or a citation V. they harvest the organs and fly them back... our aircraft are supplied through a medcenter air. I guess, though, that those flights probably would fly under the lifeguard callsign.

chris
PS- livers are usually time critical, cold time between 12-18 hrs... so if they are flying, they would best be under the lifeguard call sign..


User currently offlineL-188 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 29690 posts, RR: 59
Reply 22, posted (10 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 5598 times:

I'll throw you one better FlyingDoctorWu<

10 years ago we where doing emergency medivac flights on schedualed airliners.

If out plane was in town ready to depart, we often would go ahead and bord them on our airplane.

Much quicker then waiting the 2 hour minimum for a dedicated lifeguard flight just to arrive where we where.

Push down three rows of seats, put the stokes basket in the middle one, and then strap it down to the floor tracks.

The FAA in recent years has decided that it doesn't like this practice, since a stokes basket isn't an approved seat. Hell we can't even use them at the 135 operation, in dedicated medivac aircraft. So I don't think it gets used much like that anymore.

BTW, our choice for seat rows to knock over for a paitent where from the back door on a 727, the 2nd 3rd and 4th. Couldn't use 1st row because it was considered an exit row.

[Edited 2004-02-29 07:34:16]


OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
User currently offlineCoa764 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 328 posts, RR: 3
Reply 23, posted (10 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 5591 times:

1-AF1
2-aircraft emergency
3-Lifeguard
4-Rescue (never hear this designation)


FLYDOCWU--they don't come that often so I imagine one they get to commercial all other avenues have been exhausted, My guess they use them then and also in long haul non-stops (ex.. EWR-LAX)......



Please oh please Mr Moderator Nazi, dont delete my thread.
User currently offlineFlyingDoctorWu From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 307 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (10 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 5562 times:

I dont know much about medivac flights.. though where I might be moving to has an agreement with one of those travel insurance to provide medical evacs- you get to accompany the patient back to their home.

COA764 as for long haul transplants I doubt that that ever happens just because of the way organs are distributed; ie regionally. I think the farthest we go is Nashville TN...

Chris


25 Coa764 : You are probably right... I have not seen a lifeguard for a long time now..
26 Jetguy : I spent three years as a Life Flight pilot flying MU-2s, Conquests, Cheyennes, and Citations. I assure you that we were "Lifeguard" whether we were ca
27 L-188 : Well if you have a liver that was quoted earlier with a 12-18 hour "cold time" putting it on a 15 hour flight to Tokyo isn't going to do anybody any g
28 Coa764 : Jet guy, sounds like you were doing Life-Flights (get the term from the news).. I was just letting on that commercial flights had restrictions to when
29 L-188 : Yup. Sometimes you have to learn under fire Jetguy. The one time I hoped a ride on a lifeguard flight, the guy was amblatory, so not a big deal. But..
30 N1641 : its... 1 An aircraft in distress? 2. Lifeguard" flight 3. a "Rescue" flight 4. Air Force One we get lifeguard careflight1 in our airspace all the time
31 Jetguy : L-188... You're correct about that! I've had open heart massage going on during the approach and landing by one of the trauma nurses and the other one
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