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Some of the recipients of CareFlight’s “Wings” award, in recognition of advanced study, skills and achievements, in December 2017, after thorough testing and training. Photo submitted.

CareFlight staff earn their wings

CareFlight awarded 20 of its critical care medical team members with recognition for advanced study, skills and achievements, earning them their “wings.”

The ever-changing world of medicine has placed more and more requirements for training, skills and education on medical professionals, especially in critical care.

CareFlight medical staff members must pass rigorous pre-hire testing and evaluations, and one of the most intensive and thorough orientation programs lasting months.

They then must complete final written and skills testing to clear orientation. Only after all this has been successfully completed do the candidates officially earn their wings and the title of flight nurse, flight paramedic or critical care technicians as a member of CareFlight’s critical care transport team.

“These individuals have proven their ability to think critically, act decisively, remain calm in stressful situations, and deliver outstanding care and compassion to their patients,” said Ron Walter, CareFlight’s executive director.

The CareFlight professionals who earned their wings are Jacob Beck, flight paramedic; Christina Medefesser, flight nurse; Jaime Friedlander, flight nurse; Chad Midgley, flight paramedic; Shawna Greer, flight nurse; Geoff Rockhey, flight nurse; Michael Hayes, flight nurse; Jamie Sharenbrock, flight nurse; Wendye Markowitz, flight paramedic; Brent Tracy, flight paramedic; and Katrina Travis, flight paramedic.

The Helicopter Maintenance Professionals who earned their one year CareFlight pins are: Russell Bradberry, helicopter mechanic; Dan Haverson, helicopter mechanic; Eric Mouritsen, helicopter mechanic; and Neil Notley, helicopter mechanic.

Additionally, three CareFlight staff members earned a five-year Flight Wing honor: Chad Adair, helicopter pilot; Tama Dixon, flight nurse; and Mark Geenan, helicopter mechanic.

Two employees earned their 15-year Flight Wing honor: Tim Anderson, helicopter pilot; and Chris Cattell, helicopter pilot.

Care Flight’s critical care transport program had three honorees in the Critical Care Technician category for special service to the organization: Sara Patrick, Christopher Thompson and Joshua von Aspern.

Four persons received honors as aviation communications specialists — staff who take calls from CareFlight’s requesters, dispatch CareFlight aircraft and vehicles, ensure that all aircraft are tracked, and that flight staff is provided with appropriate resources depending on the needs of requesters and patients: Kevin Baker, Matt Formby, Melissa Leist and Shelly Park.

The annual CareFlight Safety award went to Andrew Mendenhall, aviation communications specialist. The Aviation Communications Specialist of the Year award went to Kyle Leslie.

About CareFlight:

CareFlight is a nonprofit, non-subsidized, self-supporting organization and is a service of Regional Emergency Medical Services Authority. CareFlight is a pioneer in the air ambulance business.

What began as a shared program between area hospitals to provide reliable, critical care services across rural Nevada has grown into a comprehensive, 24/7 transport service with skilled pilots, experienced medical professionals and state-of- the-art technology.

Over the last 36 years, CareFlight has grown to include a fleet consisting of four AStar 350 B3 helicopters, a Pilatus PC-12/45 single engine airplane and a ground critical care ambulance.

CareFlight aviation and medical professionals now respond to more than 1,500 transport calls per year. CareFlight has been accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Air Medical Services since 2002 and is an active member of the Association of Air Medical Services.

CareFlight’s rotor wing services are in partnership with Air Methods and its fixed wing services are in partnership with REACH.


REMSA is a private, locally governed, nonprofit emergency medical services provider serving northern Nevada since 1986.

REMSA also comprises CareFlight Ground and CareFlight, a regional, nonprofit, helicopter, airplane and ground critical care transport service, a Nevada-licensed, post-secondary educational institution, a state-of-the-art, fully accredited 911 dispatch communications center, a nurse help line system, a Tactical Emergency Medical Support team and community and special events EMS teams.

REMSA provides integrated, quality patient care with no taxpayer support or other subsidies.

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