Story by Blake Miller
Last August, the rapid response of Mount Weather Emergency Operations Center paramedics saved the life of an employee who had collapsed while at work. This was a collaborative effort that highlighted MWEOC emergency personnel working with paramedics of AirCare 4, a flight rescue team located in Front Royal, VA. The Aircare 4 team transported the victim to the Winchester Medical Center in time.
Recently, the flight nurse on that rescue operation was recognized with an impromptu ceremony at Mount Weather. Jodi Pritchard of AirCare 4 was on hand to conduct a training class for MWEOC firefighters & paramedics. Prior to her class, MWEOC Executive Administrator Jerry Williams surprised Pritchard with a Mount Weather coin, as well as a piece of the rock. “A piece of the rock is something we usually give to retiring employees to thank them for their service,” said Williams. “But today we want to give it to Jodi for saving a life…by doing this, you are now part of this mountain,” he told her.
Pritchard was both surprised and appreciative. “Thanks so much,” she said. “I remember we had to perform a rapid sequence induction (RSI) that day. It was all part of a team effort.” This lifesaving accomplishment demonstrates the importance of strong partnerships, and is an example of federal, state and local emergency response teams being effective teammates.
MWEOC Executive Administrator Jerry Williams presents AirCare 4 Flight Nurse Jodi Pritchard “a piece of the rock”, making her an honorary member of the Mount Weather family. Ms Pritchard recently teamed with Mount Weather personnel during a real world life-saving emergency. (Official FEMA Photo by Karen Nutini)