We have time and again highlighted how laser lights can be dangerous for air ambulance safety. The glare created by the laser lights can blind the pilots. A situation like this often forces the pilots to abandon the mission or at least delay the rescue. It has a profound impact on the waiting patients in case of emergencies. This is because on-time access to appropriate care increases the chances of survival and quicker recovery, especially when it comes to strokes, where timely care is of utmost importance. However, one needs to understand that it is the bright light that causes the problem. Headlights can cause the same kind of problems.
Air Ambulance and Vehicular Headlights
The case in point recently was an incident at Eaglescott. The pilot was wearing night goggles at the time and was part of a training session. A vehicle pulled up at the same time in the car park. The driver turned the vehicle towards the air ambulance and started aggressively flashing light at it. The night vision goggles caused the light to flare making it impossible for the pilot to see anything. With temporarily impaired vision, the air ambulance was forced to land. The crew member rushed toward the vehicle but it sped off.
Ignorance Could be the Cause
There is a need to educate people about the dangers of flashing lights at air ambulance vehicles. Most often, people do it as a prank but fail to understand the repercussions it has. In the current Eaglescott case, it could have been a simple case of curiosity. However, the lack of awareness about the dangers of the act is a problem. In this context, it is important to note that deliberately hindering the operations of an air ambulance can lead to legal troubles for people. This time, fortunately, there was no patient involved.