The Voice of Bates College Since 1873

The Bates Student

The Voice of Bates College Since 1873

The Bates Student

The Voice of Bates College Since 1873

The Bates Student

LifeFlight Medical Helicopter lands on Bardwell Field for Public Safety Awareness Day

Charlie Gainey
LifeFlight Helicopter pilot and Bates alum Jillian Sheltra ’19 shows students the interior of the LifeFlight helicopter.

A LifeFlight medical helicopter landed on the Bardwell Field at 11:30 a.m. on Feb. 10 for Public Safety Awareness Day sponsored by Bates Emergency Medical Services and Campus Safety.

In an interview with Ned Friedman ‘24, co-chief of Bates EMS, he discussed his moment of inspiration for the event while watching Colby land a helicopter on their campus a few years ago. Then, he said, “Mark Cayer, the Bates Campus Safety Community Engagement Supervisor, took what I thought might be a pipe dream, and helped me turn it into reality.”

Members of local emergency response teams were present at the event, including the Lewiston Fire Department, Lewiston Police Department, Community Resource Team, the Androscoggin Emergency Management Agency, the Maine State Police and United Ambulance.

Friedman and EMS’s goal was to create an event “to introduce the Bates Community to the wonderful people who keep our community safe every single day.” By focusing on local agencies, Bates EMS could show students career options they may have never considered.

About 100 people gathered in front of Commons behind three orange cones. The crowd was made up of families with young kids and equal numbers of students. After the anticipation built for about five minutes one could hear the chopper coming in from the southwest. It looped above Smith and Garcelon fields before slowly lowering down. The wind that the blades kicked up knocked over the cones and shook the birch trees.

Students and families explore the LifeFlight helicopter. (Charlie Gainey)

The helicopter landed with a full crew including Bates alum Jillian Sheltra ‘19, a LifeFlight paramedic, who stepped out to cheers. Moments later the crowd rushed forward across the snow to hear from her. She described the helicopter’s abilities, responsibilities, and the tools they had access to on board, including many state-of-the-art devices. Kids took turns stepping inside to admire the small space full with so much important equipment.

In addition to the helicopter landing, the Lewiston Police Department did a demonstration of their 100-foot ladder fire truck.

The most rewarding part of Friedman’s day was “looking around and hearing so many thoughtful and sincere questions being asked and interesting discussions being had.”

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About the Contributors
Leah Belber, Assistant Arts & Leisure Editor

Leah is a sophomore from Washington, D.C. who will likely major in English with a minor in French. Deeply opinionated about food, she enjoys trying new restaurants and baking elaborate birthday cakes. You can find her filming TikToks for Bates on the quad or attending PAUSE on Wednesday nights!

In her first year, Leah was a staff writer writing primarily for Arts & Leisure, continuing her work from high school at The Augur Bit.

Ella Beiser, Editor-in-Chief
Ella is a Junior from Chicago double majoring in Politics and Hispanic Studies. In her free time, Ella enjoys hosting a WRBC radio show, working in the greenhouse and biking around Lewiston. She is the Editor in Chief of The Student and previously served as an Assistant News Editor and Assistant Features Editor for The Student. She freelances for her local newspaper the South Side Weekly, has been published in the Maine Monitor and Vocalo Radio and in summer 2023 she was a reporting intern for the Lewiston Sun Journal.

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