Air Evac Lifeteam Earns FAA Validation of SMS Program
Air Evac Lifeteam’s continued commitment to safety is validated by the FAA when its safety management system is awarded the designation of “Active Conformance.” This is the highest status an SMS can achieve.
Tom Baldwin, Air Evac Lifeteam’s SMS manager, says the company’s safety management system is an organization-wide comprehensive and preventive approach to managing risk and promoting safety.
“A safety management system includes employee and leadership safety accountability, formal methods for identifying hazards and mitigating risk, and promotion of a positive safety culture,” Baldwin says. “The SMS also provides assurance of the overall safety performance of our organization. The SMS aids Air Evac leadership, management teams, and employees in making effective and informed safety decisions. Those in the health care setting may recognize some of the fundamental pieces of SMS as those found in modern quality management systems.”
Seth Myers, president of Air Evac Lifeteam, says the development and maintenance of a safety management system is a voluntary initiative for helicopter air ambulance providers; it is not mandated by the FAA.
“The inspection process used by the FAA during plan validation is vigorous and comprehensive,” Myers says. “Achieving this validation is a reflection of our ongoing commitment to the safety of our employees, customers and those entrusted to our care. This makes Air Evac Lifeteam one of a handful of companies in the general aviation community to be validated in the newly revised program.”
In a letter from the FAA’s Washington D.C. SMS Program Office, division manager, Timothy Miller, congratulates Air Evac Lifeteam for achieving Active Conformance status.
“The FAA SMS Program Office and your Certificate Management Team congratulate you on your company’s significant accomplishment in implementing a fully functional SMS that is ‘accepted by the State’ in accordance with international requirements,” Miller says. “Thank you for your continued commitment to improve aviation safety in our National Airspace System.”
Myers says the validation signals the beginning of a continuous improvement process that is managed through the FAA’s Continuous Operational Safety (COS) program.