H-TEMPLETON

May 30, 2013 1:39 AM by Victoria Johnson

Black Hawk helicopter practices landing at a local hospital

It's an unusual sight on the Central Coast to see a military Black Hawk Helicopter landing at a local hospital as part of a training mission.

As deployments overseas are winding down, the California Army National Guard is doing more training at Camp Roberts and Fort Hunter Liggett. With an increase in training, there is also potential for more serious injuries. Black Hawks are combat helicopters used for transport. One landed at Twin Cities Community Hospital in Templeton because hospital administrators say more soldiers are coming through the doors now that more are in training. Emergency room doctors are working to build a relationship with the military to be ready for any possible medical evacuation emergency.

"We know the procedures to get in and out of the hospitals, and the capabilities of the pads. We know where they're at so in times of emergencies, we can quickly go out and get patients and get them to critical care as quickly as we can," said Major Daniel Anderson.

Pilots get the chance to practice landings at hospital helipads and familiarize themselves with the local terrain. They also learn the hospital protocol for emergency situations.

The Black Hawk crew flew out of Mather Air Force Base in Sacramento and is back at its home base tonight.

Camp Roberts plans to have Black Hawk Helicopters on site to continue emergency training.

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