2:32 PM: As previewed – the Seattle Fire/Airlift NW drill is under way at Alki Playfield, first of 4 drills in West Seattle this week.
2:41 PM: The helicopter has lifted off. Next drill, 2 pm tomorrow at Walt Hundley Playfield in High Point. Viewing was OK today *around the edges of the field* so it should be tomorrow too.
ADDED 5:31 PM: More details, photos, and video:
Airlift Northwest (corrected) has a base in Bremerton – its helicopter can get here in as little as six minutes and carries trauma nurses as well as blood and plasma.
SFD plans to use the four drills – continuing 2 pm Tuesday and Thursday at Walt Hundley, back at Alki 2 pm Wednesday – for different local SFD crews to practice a helicopter transfer. Deputy Chief Ron Mondragon talked about it after today’s drill:
The helicopter was on the ground less than half an hour (longer, though, than it would have taken for an actual patient transfer).
SFD stresses that this kind of transport is expected to be rare – if it’s required at all – but they need to be ready just in case.