“I call it nursing in a phone booth,” flight nurse Ron Pondo said as he showed the small space inside his team’s PHI Air Medical helicopter packed with life-saving equipment. “We've got literally a flying emergency room in here.”
Pondo was explaining to children, that while this helicopter may be really cool, you never want to see the inside of one while it’s on the job.
Pondo and his team respond to all kinds of emergencies including possible drowning calls.
“As soon as we hear this call, everybody gets amped up because it's a child and you don't want anything to go bad at all and when you have parents crying on the scene, I mean everybody's adrenaline is just working quickly to get this kid from point A to point B."
The helicopter travels at about 160 miles an hour, getting a patient to a hospital anywhere in the Valley in under 15 minutes.
“Everything is prepped in flight on the way there and we have a game plan walking in,” Pondo said. “Seconds count tremendously. Any time that you stop breathing, especially when you have water involved, within four minutes you start losing brain tissue and you start getting brain damage.”
You can increase chances of survival significantly by doing CPR before the helicopter gets there.
Also, even if there are a lot of people around the pool or even swimming in the pool, don't assume someone is watching.
On May 13 in Avondale, a child drowned while at a backyard family get-together.
Make sure to designate multiple people to keep an eye on swimmers.