CFRN/Paramedic Toni Blanchard with members of the East Side Fire Department in East Baton Rouge Parish.

Throughout the spring and summer, Acadian Air Med has taught night landing zone classes to many of the 12 fire departments located in East Baton Rouge Parish. Covering 470 square miles and home to more than 440,000 people, timely EMS response in the parish is an extremely high priority.

Night landing zone training covers vital information on establishing safe landing zones, including marking off areas, clearing obstacles and assisting in properly loading patients. When the fire department is properly trained in establishing safe landing zones, it helps to improve response times and provide the best care for patients.

The 12 fire departments in the parish comprise nearly 1,000 firefighters. Smaller, rural fire districts may have 10-20 firefighters, while Baton Rouge Fire Department has nearly 600.

Acadian Air Med Flight Paramedic Rene Millet and Certified Flight RN/Paramedic Toni Blanchard have coordinated the classes to ensure that all firefighters receive the training, and are working to complete the final few classes. “It’s an undertaking to coordinate and schedule the classes with each department, but everyone has been great throughout this process,” says Toni. “Everyone believes in the cause, which makes it even more worthwhile for us.”

In addition to providing the classroom training, Acadian Air Med provides a helicopter at each class for interactive demonstrations and crew visits.

The effort has been successful thanks to the dedication from Air Med’s Baton Rouge crews.