by Sarah Barber
One unfortunate aspect of being a Life Flight paramedic, is that neither I nor the "patients" accumulate frequent flyer miles on the job. In an uncharacteristically busy Friday afternoon, the Idaho contingent of Life Flight Network collectively logged more than 800 miles in a matter of hours. A day like this in the life of a chopper jockey, means lunchtime is a foreign concept because the only thing getting any fuel is the helicopter.
But we like to think we fly friendlier skies than United Airlines. After all, we love to fly and it shows—more than it does for Delta Airlines, even. Unlike Spirit Airlines, we don't charge extra to carry your personal items, as long as they don't push the limits of our weight and balance. Also at no additional cost, sometimes we'll even offer to transport a family member if the two of you tip the scales at less than our usable gross weight. And if you're lucky enough to still be able to enjoy the view, every seat is a window seat on the exit row.
So while I won't be jetting off to Europe on frequent flyer miles any time soon, I'll settle for more regional adventures into the Wallowa Mountains of the Eagle Cap Wilderness Area. It's the kind of terrain most people never see —except us and the bear hunters who need med-evac.