Dr. Vincent DeGennaro Jr. '02 | Oct. 16, 2013 | Notre Dame Magazine
I showed up at the helicopter base and greeted the regular staff: a paramedic, a flight nurse and a crew-cut pilot. The helicopter is an air ambulance used to transport the sickest patients to the hospital that offers the most-needed services in the least possible time.
The pilot, a Gulf War veteran with a salt-and-pepper flat top, sported a navy blue jump suit and a pair of wings on his chest. He offered the morning safety briefing, reminding everyone to stay mindful of their surroundings, call out threats and be specific about the oncoming obstacles. “As per FAA standards, no cell phones during the flight, and cut off the chatter upon landing, only utilize the radio for emergent conversations since I may need to communicate with the tower.” He flipped the briefing card over in his hand, giving it two full rotations before determining that he had covered all the necessary information.