Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Flight for Life Colorado to receive ‘Spreading Wings’ award

Flight for Life Colorado Program Director Kathleen Mayer, center, welcomes Littleton resident Gretchen Crist and her daughter, 10-year-old Hayden Crist, during a public meet-and-greet July 15 at Centennial Airport. Crew members, as well as their King Air 200 and AS 350 helicopter, were on hand for a Wings Over the Rockies media event naming Flight for Life—the nation’s first civilian, hospital-based emergency medical helicopter service—as the recipient of the prestigious Spreading Wings Award. The award will be presented by Wings Over the Rockies at a gala event Nov. 11. 

It’s true.

Superheroes really can fly.

However, Wings Over the Rockies Air and Space Museum realizes not all use a magic cape to save lives.

Some superheroes, like Flight for Life Colorado, state-of-the-art flying ambulances.

As Flight for Life Colorado celebrates its 45th anniversary, this year, Wings Over the Rockies has named the hospital-based air ambulance organization as their 2017 Spreading Wings honoree.

The announcement came during a media event at Centennial Airport, July 15, where guests could climb aboard Flight for Life aircraft, as well as meet crew members.

“We are absolutely thrilled to be this year’s honoree,” said Flight for Life Program Director, Kathleen Mayer. “I looked up some of the past honorees at this event: Gene Cernan, Buzz Aldrin, Steve Fossett, Chuck Yeager, the Tuskegee Airmen, and the American Fighter Aces, just to name a few. We are in some pretty elite company and we do not take that for granted.”

Founded in 1972 by Vietnam veterans hoping to bring medevac services to the civilian world, Flight for Life Colorado is the nation’s first air ambulance service dedicated to critical care transport.

Each year, Wings Over the Rockies hosts its annual Spreading Wings gala to honor a significant aviation or space industry contributor, and this year is no different, said Benjamin Theune, director of marketing for Wings Over the Rockies.

“It’s really a way for us to show case the organization, inspire kids and show others how a particular organization or individual is connected to the aviation and aerospace community,” Theune added.

Known for the iconic bright orange paint scheme on their aircraft and ambulances, Flight for Life Colorado has transported more than 125,000 patients from the eastern plains, from the summit of Longs Peak, from the surrounding 10 states, Mexico and Canada.

“It is a program with significant reach,” said Mayer.

The Spreading Wings Award will be presented to Flight for Life Colorado at a gala event, open to the public, Saturday, November 11 at Wings Over the Rockies’ historic Hangar No. 1.

Wings chose November 11, Veterans Day, in honor of Flight for Life’s deep military roots.

“Just like Wings Over the Rockies, Flight for Life is tremendously proud of its past,” Mayer concluded. “We unpack it regularly, and look at it and learn from it, but we are also very excited about our future and bringing our level of life-saving care even more patients.”

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