Flight Crew Weight Limits

Medic785

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I am looking to get on as a flight paramedic for one of the local aeromedical services. I have nearly 14 years experience as an EMT-P, and have CCEMT-P and FP-C credentials. My only pressing issue is my height & weight. I am 6' 4" (sometimes 6' 5" when I stand with correct posture) and am currently around 245. I had been 295 in the spring but once I made the decision to seek employment in the aeromedical field I went on a diet and am exercising on a regular basis. My target weight is 230 which I hope to be at by the end of the year. My question is, what are the height and weight limits for services that you work at or are familiar with? Can somebody my height successfully work as a flight paramedic or am I barking up the wrong tree? Any advice you can give would be greatly appreciated!
 

socalmedic

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on the left coast, 205 is the magic number. reach and mercy both use this number or one similar and this is in flight mode with you helmet and all ancillary flight rear. idk about height, 6-5 is going to be cramped in an EC-135
 

TransportJockey

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You might fit for fixed wing, but rotors tend to have stricter weight limits from what I've seen. Plus heightwise you'd be cramped in a rotor
 

Akulahawk

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Another factor in the weight limit is the ship. A Bell 222 can handle a higher payload than say a BO-105. Regardless, at 6'4" you're going to be pretty cramped in just about any helo used, unless it's a really big ship...
 

EMSrush

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I know of a flight medic who was about 260 lbs. I only know this because seeing him in his uniform prompted me to gently (and with a smile) ask him what the weight limit was. :p He told me that he was at the outermost limit of the weight requirement, for what it's worth.
 

rescue329

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flight

all the services in my area require at the most 220 with gear that weighs about 5 pounds. in the southeast
 

WTEngel

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Most services hover between 215 and 230 lbs. fully kitted out.

Some services are as low as 205, and I have also seen quite a few with no limits, although that seems to be changing.

For reference, here are a few services I know of, what their limits are, and what aircraft they fly (all weights are fully kitted):

*I will also add, I obviously don't work at all of these services, however this is what I know from either their website or having friends who personally work their. If anyone notices any mistakes with the limits or mt listing of the airframe, please chime in and correct me, I don't mean to offend.

ATCEMS STAR Flight, Austin, TX - 212 lbs. EC 145
Hermann LifeFlight, Houston, TX - 230 lbs. EC 145
PHI Air Medical, National - 215 lbs. EC 135 and Bell 407 (multiple airframes)
Air Evac, National - 220 lbs. Bell 206L (they may use other aircraft outside of Texas)
Native Air, Southwest US - 225 lbs. AS 350, Bell 206L
REACH, CA, TX, and OR - 205 lbs. EC 135
CareFlite, D/FW North Texas - No limit as far as I know, AW 109 and Bell 222
Children's Medical Center of Dalls - No limit, Sikorsky S76 B
Cook Children's Medical Center, Fort Worth, TX - No limit, EC 145

That's all I can think of right now. As far as your height is concerned, you will be cramped in almost every airframe, however the AS 330, Bell 206L, and EC 135 will be the most uncomfortable, in that order. The Bell 222, Bell 407, Bell 430, Bell 412, EC 145, and Sikorsky S76 will be the most comfortable, in that order.

This is all my personal opinion of course. I have seen some big boys and girls squeeze into a helicopter and it got off the ground safely. I have flown with some of these folks, and it really does lower the cool factor to land in a helicopter and jump out with your partner the Michelin Man.
 
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Akulahawk

EMT-P/ED RN
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Most services hover between 215 and 230 lbs. fully kitted out.

Some services are as low as 205, and I have also seen quite a few with no limits, although that seems to be changing.

For reference, here are a few services I know of, what their limits are, and what aircraft they fly (all weights are fully kitted):

*I will also add, I obviously don't work at all of these services, however this is what I know from either their website or having friends who personally work their. If anyone notices any mistakes with the limits or mt listing of the airframe, please chime in and correct me, I don't mean to offend.

ATCEMS STAR Flight, Austin, TX - 212 lbs. EC 145
Hermann LifeFlight, Houston, TX - 230 lbs. EC 145
PHI Air Medical, National - 215 lbs. EC 135 and Bell 407 (multiple airframes)
Air Evac, National - 220 lbs. Bell 206L (they may use other aircraft outside of Texas)
Native Air, Southwest US - 225 lbs. AS 350, Bell 206L
REACH, CA, TX, and OR - 205 lbs. EC 135
CareFlite, D/FW North Texas - No limit as far as I know, AW 109 and Bell 222
Children's Medical Center of Dalls - No limit, Sikorsky S76 B
Cook Children's Medical Center, Fort Worth, TX - No limit, EC 145

That's all I can think of right now. As far as your height is concerned, you will be cramped in almost every airframe, however the AS 330, Bell 206L, and EC 135 will be the most uncomfortable, in that order. The Bell 222, Bell 407, Bell 430, Bell 412, EC 145, and Sikorsky S76 will be the most comfortable, in that order.

This is all my personal opinion of course. I have seen some big boys and girls squeeze into a helicopter and it got off the ground safely. I have flown with some of these folks, and it really does lower the cool factor to land in a helicopter and jump out with your partner the Michelin Man.
REACH in California uses the A109, EC135, and the Bell 407. No, I don't work for them. Out where I'm at, I usually see them flying the A109 or the Bell 407.
 

WTEngel

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Cool, thanks for the correction. They just opened a base in San Antonio and both the ships there are EC 135s.

I have a feeling that a few of the providers I mentioned who are national will likely have more airframes than the ones I listed.
 

WTEngel

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Well for crying out loud...I suppose a bit of research on my part before writing a long post would be well advised. Sorry about that...I was going off the top of my head with what I thought I remembered...

Does Native Air fly any Bell aircraft, or solely AS 350s? I could have sworn I saw a picture of a 206 being operated by Native Air (I was obviously mistaken)...or did Southwest Medevac ever fly Bell aircraft?
 

TransportJockey

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I thought SWME had one... but I could be easily wrong since I mainly dealt with their fixed wing crews... although now SWME doesn't really exist anymore... It's all Native Air
 

Flight-LP

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I thought SWME had one... but I could be easily wrong since I mainly dealt with their fixed wing crews... although now SWME doesn't really exist anymore... It's all Native Air

Nope, only AS350's and the PC-12.

Ready to serve the needs of Reeves County! (hint, hint, wink, wink!)
 

Firechic

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"There is no higher calling than to save the life of your fellow man, or to take away his pain." - Roy Yamada, MD.

WTEngel, great quote by a great man. I had the pleasure of working with Dr. Yamada as my medical director when I was with the fire department. He is truly a gem!
 

TransportJockey

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Nope, only AS350's and the PC-12.

Ready to serve the needs of Reeves County! (hint, hint, wink, wink!)

Lol I'm starting to think my dispatch doesn't ever call anyone but the service out of Odessa. Although I know we use you guys for fixed wing when the hospital needs to fly someone to El Paso or another Lvl 1.
 

Flight-LP

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Lol I'm starting to think my dispatch doesn't ever call anyone but the service out of Odessa. Although I know we use you guys for fixed wing when the hospital needs to fly someone to El Paso or another Lvl 1.

Yea, our Midland fixed wing is usually the first out to RCH, we out there occasionally if they are be transported out here to El Paso. The services are also available to EMS outside of the hospital realm, perhaps we need to come visit. :D
 

TransportJockey

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Yea, our Midland fixed wing is usually the first out to RCH, we out there occasionally if they are be transported out here to El Paso. The services are also available to EMS outside of the hospital realm, perhaps we need to come visit. :D

Would be nice :) Part of it is our protocols for transport need to be rewritten... Fixed wing transport is a hospital decision in those, while rotor is a field or hospital call out.
I've yet to see one of your crews since I got down here, but I used to see all the NM fixed wing crews and occasionally one or two of the TX crews when they would come to ABQ since I was the night BLS truck on for SAS when I worked there.
 
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