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We can't land without you!

Proper preparation and control of landing zones is critical to the safe execution of a Mercy Flight mission. We depend upon our police, fire and EMS partners to identify and secure safe landing sites, notify the Mercy Flight crew of any relevant hazards, prepare the patient for transport and assist in loading the helicopter. Mercy Flight Western New York provides ground school training to any public safety or EMS organization.

This interactive session includes discussion regarding utilization, notification procedures, response information, patient preparation, landing zone selection, communications with the aircraft and safety rules.

Upon completion of the course, dependent on aircraft availability and weather, we will conduct a live practice session of skills learned in the classroom portion. This time also allows members of your agency to view the helicopter up close and meet the crew.

Participants in this course will receive reflective helmet stickers and a certificate that identify they have completed this course. This allows the medical crew to select these trained individuals for required safety positions on scene. Additionally, participants may be able to receive continuing education or training credit if approved by the agency Training Officer.

There is no limit to the number of training sessions an agency can request. We recommend if your agency is willing to host a training, to include neighboring agencies.

For more information or to schedule a GCST, please contact:
Flight Paramedic/Clinical Outreach Coordinator, Thomas LaBelle by email: or call: 716-626-5808 ext. 1509

Important Ground Safety Rules


  • Ground control contact must maintain constant communication with helicopter at all times. Others should keep portable radios close to their ears while aircraft are running.
  • Do not use white lights during landing or departure. Minimize use of strobes at night unless marking obstacles.
  • No smoking, running or vehicular motion near landing site.
  • Assign 1 individual for ground contact on a dedicated radio frequency. Tail guard will be posted by Mercy Flight crew prior to patient loading.
  • Do not approach aircraft until directed by Mercy Flight personnel and maintain eye contact for further direction.
  • Never approach from the rear of the aircraft. Please do not assist with doors or equipment unless asked.