With RAYVN, emergency preparedness is easy. Very little training is needed to make sure that everyone can play their part in resolving incidents—and the annual training exercise has proved a popular way to test everyone’s readiness.
Pam LandisSafety Manager and Head of Flight School
The University Air Center (UAC) serves the Gainesville Regional Airport, where it provides airline services, runs a flight school and helps save lives through time-critical medical transport.
When Pam Landis, the Safety Manager and Head of Flight School, joined the UAC, they relied on a manual system for safety and emergency preparedness. ‘It consisted largely of binders of documents, which were inaccessible to those out in the field, and not especially well-organised,’ Landis observes.
Given the time-critical, dispersed and complex nature of their business operations, UAC decided to replace their outdated manual system for safety and critical event management.
According to Landis, the goal was ‘to create a proactive safety culture’ across their many lines of business, including the flight school, charter services, refuelling services for Delta and American Airlines, flight handling, mechanical upkeep of aircraft and the time-critical medical transport of human organs and blood products.
‘We needed a cost-effective, digital solution for emergency preparedness to support our time-critical services on a 24/7 basis,’ says Landis.
The University Air Center chose RAYVN to deliver a seamless, real-time solution for fully coordinated emergency preparedness, safety and critical event management.
Today, a team of thirty-five, including team leaders, the maintenance team and pilots, rely on the software to:
- digitalize emergency preparedness
- log, resolve and report on workplace safety-related incidents
- coordinate medical transport with external partners
- respond to critical events using instant notifications, real-time updates and tools to easily mobilise personnel and resources
- maintain safety standards across all airport services the UAC delivers
Instant communications, seamless collaboration and easy logging and reporting functions enable the UAC to manage critical events easily, meet time-critical targets and create a safe environment for everyone at the airport.
To support urgent and ongoing medical care, the University Air Center manages 14-16 organ transports a week as well as daily blood deliveries.
Dispersed teamwork is needed to manage the transport. The pilot and co-pilot coordinate actions with the transplant team, which consists of one surgeon and one or two organ procurement technicians. Sometimes a fellow, resident or medical student may accompany the team.
The organ donation window is time-restricted, allowing for just hours between the extraction from the expired donor and the delivery to the patient on the surgery table. Below are listed some of the typical time windows:
- Heart: 2-4 hours
- Lung(s): 4-6 hours
- Liver: 6-8 hours
- Blood products have more flexibility in terms of timings.
Given this tight timeline, there are typically just two hours for the flight itself.
Organisation, coordination and real-time communications are key to successful transport—especially if there are any flight-related issues. RAYVN’s instant notifications, log functions and collaboration capabilities mean that everyone works together seamlessly.
‘Medical transport is time-critical and urgent. Lives are at stake,’ says Landis. ‘We are so impressed with the RAYVN solution, which consistently delivers the support we need to help save lives.’
Safety at the airport is crucial for everyone. On an everyday basis, many kinds of incidents may arise, ranging from everyday safety events in the workplace to critical events that threaten business continuity.
- Accidents or workplace safety incidents
- Chemical spills
- Weather-related threats, such as hurricanes or mudslides
- Aircraft mechanical failures/accidents
‘With RAYVN, we can notify everyone in our team and emergency response network in an instant and coordinate a synchronised response easily,’ says Landis.
Aircraft on fire: ‘RAYVN helped us to prevent disaster’
RAYVN helped the UAC avert a potential disaster when an aircraft caught fire. A witness at the airport saw the fire and took a video of it. That video was uploaded to RAYVN to create a log and alert everyone instantly to the situation.
UAC personnel, emergency responders and airport staff mobilized quickly to deliver a fully coordinated response.
- The 911 call was initiated.
- The control tower was able to clear the runway and divert other planes in order to prioritise the emergency landing of the plane on fire.
- Very quickly, ground staff assembled to meet the plane on arrival. With 13 fire extinguishers, they were able to put out the fire.
- Passengers were evacuated safely.
The aircraft itself was destroyed by the blaze, but thanks to RAYVN’s ability to deliver a fully coordinated response in real-time the passengers all got off safely with no injuries.
No lives were lost.
Achieve Emergency Preparedness
The UAC handles all flights and offers an array of airport services, such as refuelling for Delta and American Airlines. The ability to coordinate actions in an emergency situation depends on having the right critical event management solution in place.
To ensure emergency preparedness, the UAC runs biannual training drills internally as well as an yearly training exercise for the entire airport. The annual training exercise is large-scale, involving 150-200 participants, including local students who play the roles of injured passengers or personnel.
Airport staff and UAC personnel demonstrate their ability to coordinate communications and actions to manage a wide range of critical-event scenarios, including fire, medical emergency, aircraft incidents, storms and so forth. Emergency responders as well as various utilities and kinds of equipment are involved in the scenario resolution.
‘With RAYVN, emergency preparedness is easy,’ says Landis. ‘Very little training is needed to make sure that everyone can play their part in resolving incidents—and the annual training exercise has proved a popular way of testing everyone’s readiness.’
Create a Proactive Safety Culture
When Landis took on the role of Safety Manager, she took the initiative to transform a largely reactive approach to emergency preparedness by advocating for a critical event management system that would foster greater vigilance and participation – because safety is everyone’s business.
Today, Landis performs regular safety perimeter walks and takes photos or short videos of her inspection along the way. These digital images can be instantly uploaded into RAYVN to create incident logs, when needed, or run reports to confirm everything is in working order. For instance, if a ladder is standing where it shouldn’t be, there’s been a spill or some other issue arises, Landis opens a log, which enables her to initiate any needed actions or repairs to resolve the problem.
Incident logs are valuable because they create top-of-mind awareness and help to ensure that any incident is dealt with and closed off when completed. This is especially useful for any repairs that may take longer time and require some project management, such as a leak in the hanger roof.
Because RAYVN is so easy to use – now anyone in the UAC can report safety incidents and initiate action, when needed, and this is critical because the business operates 24/7.
Today the University Air Center has achieved its goal of creating a proactive safety culture across the organisation. According to Pam Landis, ‘RAYVN has exceeded our expectations. It is a mind-blowing solution that enables us to take a multi-pronged approach to safety, emergency preparedness and time-critical event management.’
In the past, the manual system was in a centralised location, making it difficult to coordinate actions with team members, partners, emergency personnel and others working in the field or in flight.
‘Previously our approach was largely reactive, relying on a pay-to-play model and annual safety checks,’ Landis says. ‘When an event occurred, the UAC team would need to pull out binders, consult documents and make calls–this was time-consuming and not especially well organised.’
Today, with RAYVN the University Air Center has found a critical event management solution that supports workplace safety and enables a real-time response to any incident with confidence.
The RAYVN solution empowers the UAC to:
- help save lives
- avert disaster
- keep planes flying
- run the flight school safely and
- maintain airport safety.
The right people are informed at the right time to maintain business continuity and minimise the impact of disruption.
And why does this matter? ‘We are in the business of helping save lives at the University Air Center,’ says Pam Landis. ‘With RAYVN, we are confident we can fulfill our mission.’
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