Tuesday was the first day back in the air for Mercy North Iowa since a fatal crash last month. On January 2nd, the Mason City hospital’s helicopter crashed, killing all three crew members on board- flight nurse Shelly Lair-Langenbau, paramedic Russell Piehl and pilot Gene Grell.
“We never want to forget the crew members that were doing what they loved,” said head flight nurse Bryan Williams.
But the accident also stripped Williams and his fellow crew members of doing what they love. Without a helicopter or equipment of their own, Mercy North relied on nearby hospitals to air lift their patients. “When you don`t have your normal job you feel a little lost,” said Williams, “You know there are patients not being able to be brought in that need to have our care.”
While it’s not easy to be back in the air without their 3 lost crew members, Williams said they’re glad to be back where they belong.
“To be able to fly, to be able to take care of critical patients, it’s what we want to do in our jobs, it’s what we strive for,” said Williams.