As is customary, fall brings us to the time when the National EMS Pilots Association recognizes this year’s recipients of the EMS Pilot of the Year and EMS Pilot Lifetime Achievement awards. What must one do to even be considered for such recognition? For a start, I will simply point future pilots, crewmembers and the like to see the virtues of this year’s recipients. Professionalism is a good start. The desire and ability to help their teammates be successful. A willingness to hold team members accountable, while also sharing their experiences. This comes from a cordial as well as approachable demeanor. These pilots will often be the rock of a program. They are the ones that new team members gravitate to for the reasons we pointed out earlier. I would like to share a small excerpt from this year’s winner’s nomination: Through it all, Bruce has been our constant. He moved with the crew to the different vendors and different airframes, always performing at a high level. With all of these changes, Bruce made sure to keep the crews focused on the safe execution of all flights. He supported the clinical crews and leadership through a stressful transition and was always the consummate professional. He is highly motivated and has shown a commitment to the job that inspires confidence in the clinical crews. It is about TEAM work and getting the job done, he is always willing to help carry bags and assist with loading or unloading a patient. Bruce is always early for work and ready to fly. He takes pride in the aircraft appearance and does not tolerate a dirty aircraft, so he is frequently seen cleaning the tail boom. He is the HEMS pilot who loves to fly and it shows to the clinical crew who love to fly with him. As is customary, the NEMSPA Board of Directors read and voted anonymously for this year’s recipients. Once votes were tabulated, the winners were announced to the board. As is also customary, I reached out to one of the nominators to share the good news. It was then that I learned that Bruce Johnston had passed away and his services were held on the previous weekend. To say the least, my heart is broken. On behalf of NEMSPA, our thoughts and prayers go out to the fine people of JeffStat, Air Methods and of course the friends and family of Bruce Johnston. I will travel to New Jersey to present Mrs. Johnston with Bruce’s trophy on Wednesday, October 28, 2020.
Please mark your calendars and tune in to watch the presentation live on our Facebook page at 3:00 pm EST. Please share this post (or the event page) to your pages so that we can make sure everyone who would like to honor Bruce by attending the online event, will know the details. https://www.facebook.com/events/347980532963727/