A  Hero is defined as “a person who is admired or idealized for courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities.”

I met a couple heroes the other day when I was given the opportunity {a once in a lifetime opportunity} to learn more about the Mercy Flight organization. One of the only not-for-profit providers of air and ground medical transport services in the country {other agencies are for-profit or operated by hospitals}, Mercy Flight was started by Mr. Douglas H. Baker in 1981. An organization that receives funding from their supporters, individual contributions, corporate donations, community fundraisers, and community grants, Mercy Flight does incredible things. In the 35 years they have completed more than 25,000 missions and provide around the clock care servicing for Western New York, Northern PA and Canada.

{getting an inside look at one of the 5 helicopters}

While I was at Mercy Flight Tuesday {formerly the Flying Tigers restaurant} I met with Adam White, Chief Flight Paramedic and Haji Shareef, Pilot, both men are two truly amazing guys, who in the short time I met with them, I gained a lot of admiration for and have a ton of respect for. Adam told me about the history of the organization, his background and showed me around the facility. We then headed out to the helicopters and on the way we met Haji our Pilot, greeted with a hug, we were on our way! When we arrived Adam showed me the inside of the helicopter {it is fully equipped and looks similar to an ambulance}. We were then out the door and up in the sky. Buffalo you look beautiful from above. {You can check out my FB live video here to see the experience.}

Fun fact – Mercy Flight has 5 helicopters, all are twin engine aircraft’s and can handle any call they receive.

In the time we were in the air – we flew over New Era Field, the waterfront, and downtown Buffalo, I even got to experience what it was like landing on the helipad at Buff Gen hospital. During the flight I chatted with Adam and Haji about what a day is like at Mercy Flight {no day is ever the same}. I also asked them both what they love about Buffalo, Haji’s response – having his family here. Being in the Navy he said its nice to be around the people he loves, he also said the food. Adam’s response – the people, the Buffalo community and the summers.

Mercy Flight is truly amazing I keep saying that, but it really is. To see and hear what they do, day in and day out is incredible and I have a high level of respect for all of the staff who work there. If you want to learn more about Mercy Flight check out their website  www.mercyflight.org and this video on you tube

Being able to do a fly over is great, but what I really want everyone to take away from this post is that Mercy Flight needs your help,  your donation allows for Mercy Flight to continue to offer medical care, from the air and ground, to those in WNY and beyond.

I’ll leave you with this fact – Mercy Flight performs lifesaving care without regard to a patients’ insurance status or ability to pay. They save people’s lives in the matter of minutes.

Thank you Kate, Adam and Haji for taking time out of your day to show me behind the scenes what you all do day in and day out.

-B 

IMG_7305 – quick few second video caught by Kate landing.