This is personal for me. I was the first Director of Flight Operations, while working for Washoe Medical Center, in 1980. Those of you in Portola may remember Dr. Bill Bross. Bill was the first, and long time Medical Director, and a dear friend and mentor. Those of you with a Bucks Lake history may have met Jane Miller. She was our first Chief Flight Nurse, and I hired her from St. Anthony’s Hospital in Denver, which was one of the foremost emergency helicopter programs in the country at that time. Jane was also a long term employee. She was a long time cabin owner at Bucks and just sold her cabin last summer.
When we were developing the program, the idiots at the Nevada Bureau of Health Facilities decided the program would only make 3 or 4 flights per year, and opposed our program permission. The last I am aware of, Care Flight makes close to 300 flights per month, and is a bed rock part of the EMS system in western Nevada and eastern California.
I was lucky and never had a crash on my watch, but it is always a possibility in an effort that is great, and rewarding, until it isn’t.
This is a real tragedy, on many levels…