Sunday, February 26, 2006

Some days I LOVE my job

For those of you who don't know, part of my job is to go out to other hospitals and pick up sick newborns that can't receive the level of care that they need where they are at. Normally we go by ground ambulance to pick them up, but sometimes we go by fixed wing (small plane). We've never been able to go in the helicopter because our transport isolettes wouldn't fit. Our hospital has had a more compact one for a couple of years, but to get it fitted with a ventilator, evaluated, rebuilt, etc. has taken quite some time. In any case, it is now up and operational and we got a call to go last night, and I was assigned transport, so I got to go in the helicopter. Yeah me. This was the 4th trip in the helicopter that our team has been on.

(Just so you all know, I am VERY excited about my experience, but it is tempered by the fact that I had to go get a sick baby. The good news is that the baby has a very good prognosis for a totally normal outcome.)

Anyway, we went up to the helipad on the roof (how cool is that?), I got my flight suit, helmet, and a helicopter briefing, and get this - I GOT TO FLY IN THE COCKPIT WITH THE PILOT!! It was so cool!! There is glass all around you and the night was fairly clear, so I could see all the lights of the valley. We took off and flew over the Stanford Stadium which is under construction and has been blocked from public view - Hah! I got to see it, from the air. We also flew over my house, so I had to wave to the babies and Bill.

For you geeks out there, our flight time was 30 minutes, Our top speed out was 135 knots with a cross wind of 40 knots. On the trip out we flew at 5500 ft. and on the way back we climbed to 6500 ft. On the other side we landed on another helipad (this one was on the ground, not on the roof like ours), and headed into the hospital in our flight suits. It was kind of fun to watch the looks on everyones faces as we walked down the halls.

In any case, this was one of the most awesome things I've been able to do at work. Can't wait to do it again. The only bad part is that I didn't have a camera to document the experience.


At 27 February, 2006 06:00, Blogger Tinjaw said...


That's cool. Nothing like having fun while you get to help out others in need.

I've got my camera phone for those unexpected photo oportunities, but they sell "disposable" digital camera now. You use them like the conventional disposable camera except instead of going back to the store for prints your photos are put on a website for you to download.

At 27 February, 2006 08:30, Blogger snarfdog said...

Yeah, sadly I had a Sidekick in my locker, but didn't think to grab it before heading for the helipad. Stupid, stupid me. Arrrgghhhh. Oh well, maybe next time.

At 27 February, 2006 09:46, Blogger seajade said...

That is so cool! Glad to hear that the baby was alright too.

At 27 February, 2006 10:50, Blogger Jennie said...

What a cool post. Where did you fly to?

At 27 February, 2006 10:55, Blogger snarfdog said...

Turlock. Oh yeah, and on the way back when I was in back with the baby, I could see a little out of the tail as it was all glass too. The body where I was sitting was the metal structure of the helicopter.

At 27 February, 2006 11:47, Blogger Andrea said...

wow, that is so RAD! how exciting! did you hum the a-team theme the whole time? wow.

sadly, the sidekick photos would mostly suck in the dark, but still, very cool.

At 27 February, 2006 11:53, Blogger cheddah said...

oooh, very exciting!

let's see - my exciting job experience of the day - ummmm, eating Trader Joe's Crunchy Oatmeal Raisin cookies.

mmmmmmm, cookies. it's no helicopter flight, but i'll settle for 'em. :-)

At 27 February, 2006 13:54, Blogger snarfdog said...

Oh cookies, yum. I need some here.


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