From the SF Chronical: Angels of mercy who arrive via helicopters.
A huge leap into maturity comes as you realize that mom’s the tooth fairy – and you yourself can take on a Santa Claus role.
After that, it should come as no big shock to learn that guardian angels could be nurses who jump out of helicopters.
Noah Evenson, 22, learned that 11 days ago, when a CALSTAR chopper airlifted him from a serious snowmobile accident in mountains above Zephyr Cove, Nev.
Evenson, a guide at Aramark’s snowmobile tour center, had pursued a faster, more experienced guide high on the mountain and was struggling to keep up.
“Fresh snow hid the ice patches,” Evenson recalled. “If you whip a turn, sometimes the tread gets loose, you fishtail, turn sideways and catch an edge. Maybe that’s what happened. I got flung into a tree at about 25 mph.”
Suffering broken neck vertebrae and a cracked pelvis, Evenson also experienced a lacerated lung and was knocked unconscious. If emergency personnel had to evacuate him from the remote site by a land route, it might have taken hours of effort, and meant a jolting ride for the victim – perhaps worsening the injury.
Instead, a CALSTAR Six team located at Lake Tahoe Airport spooled up turbines on its German-made B0105LF high-altitude helicopter. It took off in four minutes, reaching Evenson’s side in eight more.
The lanky young man still feels stiffness and pain from the ordeal. But he’s not as dazed as when he responded to a nurse’s inquiry by insisting his name was “John Jacob Jingleheimer Smith” (from a children’s rhyme). He does seem entirely lucid on this point: CALSTAR is a life-saver.
“I’m very grateful,” Evenson said. “I’m real happy CALSTAR could give me a lift. That service is very much needed out here.”