Did you know that there is a cell phone at Ed Levin that you can use to call 911 in an emergency if your cell phone doesn’t have a signal? That fact was one of the many good pieces of information that was given in the Ed Levin Safety Meeting and BBQ that was held on Saturday, June 15 at Ed Levin. If you ever fly at Ed Levin these procedures are a “must know”
The meeting was a cooperative effort by both Wings of Rogallo (WOR) and the Bay Area Paragliding Association (BAPA) to learn and review the emergency procedures at Ed Levin and to also discuss the nuances of paragliders and hang gliders flying together.
The emergency procedures are posted on the WOR web site https://www.wingsofrogallo.org/sites/ed_levin/EL_emergency.pdf, and we will have a link on the BAPA web site as well. We urge pilots to review this document and familiarize yourself with the procedures.
Here is a brief excerpt and summary:
EMERGENCY RESPONSE PROCEDURES
- Have someone take charge of the scene.
- Make an assessment of injuries and give first aid as necessary. (Responsiveness, Breathing, Bleeding, Injuries).
- If people are available, have someone call the emergency number. Otherwise, you call it.
- From your cell phone call 408-299-2311. (If you call 911 from your cell phone, you will be connected to a dispatch center, and it will take longer.) Calling the above number connects you directly to the Santa Clara Sheriff’s Department and emergency response center.
- If no cell signal, try calling 911 since that will connect to any cell phone tower (not just your carrier) otherwise go to the public pay phone by the gate to the vehicle access to the landing zone and road to launch. You can call 911 for free.
- Tell the emergency response staff the nature of the emergency, location, and basic information about the incident. Ask them to contact the park rangers.
- If the pilot needs a paramedic or medical helicopter, have someone put out the large X that is kept in the lockbox by the gate. The combination on the lock is 0911.
- The large X is notice to all pilots that they must land IMMEDIATELY.
- Clear incident site of vehicles so that helicopter can land or paramedics can come in without obstruction. This includes parking areas in LZ or near the incident site.
- Make contact with emergency responders when on site and give any known information on the incident.
- Preserve incident site for investigation by WOR officers and site rangers.
- File incident report with site committee and park rangers within 24 hours.
- DO NOT resume flying until flying privileges are reinstated by the park ranger.
Following the review of emergency procedures, Paul Gazis spoke about what to know when paragliders and hang gliders fly together, what to watch out for and notice in the air, and other information. (BAPA is trying to obtain an article on this subject). Please be aware that paraglider pilots should NOT kite in the landing zone, and that on landing they should immediately gather up their paragliders and walk out of the path of incoming pilots.
After that, there was a discussion of basic first aid response:
- After making sure the site is safe, someone should take control of the situation.
- Basic assessment: Check for response. Check breathing. Check for severe bleeding. Check head to toe.
- Do NOT let the person get up right away until a full assessment is made and the person is evaluated. This is particularly important if there is any chance of spinal injuries. Doing so may result in the injury becoming much worse.
- Call emergency response and follow the Ed Levin Emergency Procedures.
Next, the group practiced on a hang glider pilot with a simulated injury. People were asked what to do, what were the Ed Levin emergency procedures, and what was their approach and assessment. It was a good review and a way to practice what was learned.
During the day, the paraglider pilots had a spot landing contest in very challenging conditions. This highly contested event (with two people) resulted in Glenn Warren winning the very coveted trophy which he will treasure forever.
As part of the safety meeting, WOR provided wonderful food and a BBQ that was enjoyed by all.