Will the Makers of NBC’s Trauma Accept Nurses’ Invite to Conference in San Jose?

Get up to speed on the slow-motion car crash that is Trauma here. Finished? Bon, je vous laisse continuer.

Here’s the latest – turns out that the flight nurses are even more pissed off about this show than pilots, paramedics, EMTs and doctors. So, the nurses have invited the Trauma crew down to San Hoser for the 2009 Air Medical Transport Conference to learn a few things about portraying emergency response.

Read all about it, after the jump.

Now let’s hear from an extra on the set. A sample from what Allie Pape of 7×7 magazine had to say about her recent experience making cold hard off of the production of the show – her opinion of Trauma?

“…on life support in the ratings, vapid, seems doomed to a quick and painful death, truly terrible show, headache-inducing, the dialogue painfully bad, the characters pre-packaged, it makes me want to claw out my own eyeballs…”

Ooh, harsh. Harsh but fair.

All right, let’s see here, we got to have a photo – how about pilot Aimee Garcia’s preflight checklist:

Giant chopper? Check

Giant Rabbit? Check

Giant helmet that’s way too big for her melon? Check

Let’s roll:

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Click to expand

As promised, another spanking for NBC, after the jump.

Mr. Jeff Gaspin

Chairman, NBC Universal Television Entertainment

420 South Grand Avenue, Room 501

Los Angeles, California 90071


Dear Mr. Gaspin:


I am writing to youas a trained flight nurse and president of the Association of Air Medical Services (AAMS). AAMS is the only entity serving the entire air and critical-care ground medical transport community – including operators, pilots, paramedics, EMTs, doctors and nurses.


As such, our association would like to convey our deep displeasure and concern with NBC’s new televisions series, Trauma. The initial inaccurate portrayal of two helicopters flying in between high-rise buildings (and over a no-fly zone), resulting in a fatal mid-air collision in downtown San Francisco was among the first in a number of grossly inappropriate, misrepresentative incidents, actions and behaviors depicted on the program.


Other offenses included disregarding medical directors’ instructions and triage protocols; transporting patients via helicopter without appropriate crew configurations or dispatch orders; violating standards of care in performing medical procedures; and exhibiting sexist, unprofessional and discriminatory behaviors. Needless to say, these multiple inaccurate depictions serve as a serious affront to the trained, dedicated professionals who work in air medicine. And of even greater concern is how public will perceive air medicine and the hundreds of thousands of medical professionals who have dedicated their lives to saving lives every day.


It is my understanding that the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians and the EMS section of the International Association of Fire Chiefs have also written letters of complaint. AAMS has been in contact with these organizations and others, and we have proposed taking our displeasure one step further:  Beginning today, we will challenge our members of to “tweet” via Twitter and post messages on Facebook every time an inappropriate, unethical or inaccurate portrayal of EMS is depicted on Trauma. And we will continue to do so until either your producers “get it right” – or the series goes off the air.


In the meantime, we would be happy to lend our professional experience and expertise, to ensure that Trauma truthfully, accurately and appropriately depicts the delivery of air-medical services. To that end, I would like to draw your attention to the Air Medical Transport Conference (AMTC), Oct. 26-28, in San Jose. Through such sessions as “Distractions in Dispatch,” “The Patient First: Safety Always,” and “What to Do When It’s One of Your Own,” attendees learn how to avoid and deal with medical-transport accidents and related mishaps. Also, through such dedicated professionals as air-medical accident survivor Jonathan Godfrey, chair of “Vision Zero,” participants learn how to make air-medical transport safer. To give you a better idea of the guidance AMTC can offer Trauma, I am enclosing a conference program and a news release highlighting safety-related sessions.


It is AAMS’ hope that the Trauma’s producers will take some time away from their busy fall production schedule, the upcoming episodes of which, I understand, are being shot on location in San Francisco, and join us at AMTC, which is only about 40 minutes away.  If so, we would be happy to arrange meetings with experts who can advise you on the more technical aspects of air-medical transport and EMS services. If not, we would also be happy to offer guidance in other ways or at other times, at your earliest convenience.


It is AAMS’ sincere hope that by working together and lending your show’s producers our expertise, Trauma will serve to reward rather than insult our nation’s highly ethical, devoted, hardworking and dedicated air-medical professionals – because that is the only portrayal they truly deserve.





Sandra Kinkade

President, AAMS


cc: Air Medical Physician Association, Air & Surface Transport Nurses Association, Helicopter Association International, EMS Section, International Association of Fire Chiefs, International Association of Flight Paramedics, National Association of Air Medical Communication Specialists, National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians, National EMS Pilots Association, National Association of State EMS Officials

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