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Thread: In Memoriam of LifeGuard's Fallen

  1. #1
    Member JOAT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Soldotna, ALASKA since '78

    Default In Memoriam of LifeGuard's Fallen

    Wreckage and the flight nurse from the LIfeGuard medevac helicopter that went missing last week has been found in PWS. Providence is holding a candlelight vigil tonight (Sunday, December 9th) at 5 pm in Anchorage.

    I wish to take a moment to remember the sacrifices of our Alaskan rescue crews. This is dangerous work and many of us go afield with the comfort of knowing that these people are there to help us during an emergency when we are far from the cities. The Soldotna-Kenai-Sterling area has lost three angels while they were trying to save another. Tonight, at 5:18pm, please take a moment of silence to honor these heroes.

    God Speed.

    News story on finding crewman's body:

    Original story on the missing flight:

    A message sent out by Providence Alaska this morning:

    There is a candlelight vigil for the missing LifeGuard helicopter

    When: Sunday, December 9th, 2007 at 4:45 p.m.
    Where: Providence Region Building, Employee Parking Lot

    Come light the night and offer prayers of hope and strength for the missing LifeGuard helicopter crew. Join members of the Providence family and local emergency responders for a candlelight vigil at the Providence Region Building employee parking lot on Sunday, December 9th at 4:45 p.m. We ask that participants begin to gather at 4:45 p.m.

    The vigil will begin promptly at 5:15 p.m., with lighting of the candles to follow at 5:18 p.m., the time of the helicopter's last contact. It will last until 5:45 p.m., the time the helicopter was due to arrive at Providence.

    The Providence Region Building is located at 3760 Piper Street in Anchorage, across from the Providence Health Park. Park in the visitor parking garage off Piper Street adjacent to the Providence Health Park. Volunteers will direct you to the vigil, which will be held in the Providence Region Building employee parking lot. Bring your own candles, and remember to dress warmly. Emergency services personnel are asked to come dressed in uniform. We regret that there will not be parking space for emergency apparatus. Employees who are scheduled to work at the PRB on Sunday are asked to park in the visitor parking lot on the north side or the parking garage at the Health Park.
    Winter is Coming...

    Go GeocacheAlaska!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Interior Alaska


    Thanks JOAT.

    I agree.

    I thought about this the other day.

    Ya' know, when ever a former legislator dies, the State/Governor typically orders the flags flown at half-mast. And, in my opinion, the odds are 60:40, minimum, that the legislator in question never did anything meaningful or constructive for the State at all.

    I've had friends and acquaintances med-evacced more than a couple of times; in both life-threatening circumstances and otherwise.

    These folks fly when most sane pilots and flight crews say, "Screw you, bucko. We'll see you in the morning, or when the weather breaks." Nope, they get a call, and they're up in the air. Not at 60 mph, tooling down the highway in comfort, with sirens and lights clearing the way. Instead, it's often in high winds, limited visibility, and other circumstances that would have most of us puking, taking a stiff drink, or looking for a sedative.... And flying one of the most unsafe airborne pieces of equipment known to human-kind; an egg-beater with rotors and a turbine engine.

    They are often folks who fly not just 'cause of the pay and adventure, but because they are literally flying to someone who -needs- something or some one in the worst way.

    If there are real heros still working in Alaska, then then Life Bird, Life Guard, et al, are among them.

    This is not the first chopper doing this kind of work to be lost in Alaska. There have been others. And this likely won't be the last chopper of this sort lost here doing the work of those who care..

    Three crew died in marginal conditions, trying to save one person. I think about that; mostly 'cause the cost:benefit analysis of it leaves off where the humanity of it picks up.

    How many of us would fly, partially blind, into the darkness, IFR, risking a multi-million dollar ship, and three lives because someone said that they needed us??

    Bless these brave folks, and the families who lost them so close to a season that defines family orientation. Both those who were older, and the one who was so young.

    These are persons who merit a salute of the most sincere type. Persons who literally save lives at the risk of losing their own.


  3. #3
    Member Hunt'N'Photos's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Eagle River, Alaska

    Default Been a tough two weeks.

    This has hit home really hard for my shop and myself. Cameron Carter's father works for my as a civilian in the Air Force. When I first heard the news early Tuesday morning I was crushed. I have seen the area down there they were flying through and its not very inviting for a helicopter. I still held out hope though. Cameron was all Bob talked about. and Bob was extremely proud of him. For a young man Cameron had already accomplished more in his life than many ever achieve. It is an incredibly trajic loss for all involved and for Alaska and I believe you are right, more should be done to honor that crew! There is going to be a memorial at the lifeguard hanger in Executive park off of Raspberry rd Friday at 1pm for the entire flight. Then Sat at 1pm there will be a firemans funeral for cameron down in Soldotna. More information can be found here . Then Monday will be Camerons Celebration of Life at the Fairview loop Baptist Church in Wasilla at 7pm. All three are open to the public if anyone would like to attend. You can e-mail me for any other information. What a horrible time of the year for something like this to happen!
    US Air Force - retired and Wildlife photographer

    To follow my photography adventures check out my facebook page

  4. #4
    Member akjw7's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006


    tragic loss of life - so sorry for the families and friends of those lost

    Ruffle - you mentioned the bravery and determination of these heroes in that they go up when others won't. That is so true - it's also the reason medevac operators typically take steps to try and keep patient condition information from the flight crew. That said, it's pretty much a given that they are responding to an urgent situation if the call comes, so even with those steps I'm sure the crews feel tremendous pressure to "get there"...medevac flying has proportionally very high accident rates, that much more thanks goes out to the heroes out there saving lives.

    fyi - the governor must read your posts!

    Governor Palin Orders Flags Lowered
    for LifeGuard Flight Victims
    No. 07-241
    Governor Palin Orders Flags Lowered for LifeGuard Flight Victims
    December 12, 2007, Anchorage, Alaska – Governor Sarah Palin today ordered state flags to be lowered to half-staff in memory and honor of the four people onboard a medical transport helicopter that disappeared more than a week ago over Prince William Sound.
    The air ambulance was en route from Cordova to Anchorage when it disappeared December 2, 2007. The body of flight nurse John Stumpff was recovered. Still missing are pilot Lance Brabham, 42, of Soldotna; paramedic Cameron Carter, 24, of Kenai, and patient Gaye McDowell, 60, of Cordova.
    “Todd and I send our thoughts and prayers to the families and friends of those who are lost and missing,” said Governor Palin. “I urge all Alaskans to pause and remember the selfless dedication of the LifeGuard crew and the courageous patient they were transporting.”
    Governor Palin has ordered state flags to be lowered to half-staff on Friday, December 14, 2007. Flags will be raised to full-staff the following morning.

  5. #5


    Hits home with me too. First, they were all good people. Secondly, this summer I had the chance to meet these folks. They took the time to fly to the offshore platform where I work and introduce themselves and explain in detail what they do for a living. It was a great experience at the time.
    Godspeed to these folks and their families.


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