Life Force pilot speaks after deadly helicopter crash in Fayette - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Life Force pilot speaks after deadly helicopter crash in Fayette County

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

When teams with Erlanger's Life Force are called into action they know each flight comes with a little risk.

"It can be a dangerous job if you don't have the right equipment and the right training and you keep all that in tip top shape," Line Pilot Bradley Simmons says.

Simmons joined Life Force months after its initial flight 25 years ago.

"We've got what we consider perfect safety record and that can be attributed to an awful lot of people," Simmons says.

However, accidents do happen as it did near Memphis early Tuesday morning. All three crew members on board died when the helicopter crashed into a field in Fayette County.

When accidents happen everyone in the field feels the loss.

"I'd like to send my deepest sympathies to the family members and the team members there in Memphis for their loss. It's very hard on everyone and we open our hearts out to them and lift them up in prayer," Simmons says.

Simmon's medical crew is like his extended family. "My crew members and the people here, we really have to trust each other explicitly," he says. "We're a tight knit group of people here because we've got each others lives in each others hands."

The patients also depend on them with their lives. "They have pretty much about a 98 percent survival rate if we can get them here alive," says Simmons.

Life Force transports roughly 200 patients every month. While the crew remains in the field and in the air, it takes an army to operate successfully. "There's a lot of people involved in making this happen and making it happen safely," Simmons says.

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