If you can help, you must act: The founding mission of Airlift Northwest isn’t just a guidance principle, it’s a call to action that the organization honors every day as it provides critical care and medevac services to thousands of patients throughout Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana and Idaho.
That’s why earlier this month, Airlift Northwest staff flew to Gustavus, a community of about 450 people in Southeast Alaska, to provide help of a different sort. This time, the plane wasn’t full of flight nurses and first responders — it was packed with boxes of food and other much-needed items.
Like many small towns in the region, Gustavus has little to no road access and relies on private planes, barges and ferries in the Alaska Marine Highway System for supplies. When the only ferry in service broke down in mid-January, it effectively shut down the highway system and cut off Gustavus from its essential resources.
Enter Airlift Northwest, local grocery store Super Bear IGA and the Central Council of the Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska (Tlingit & Haida). The three organizations teamed up to coordinate, gather and deliver necessities to the small city.
“Alaskans help each other in times of need, and we are proud to be part of an organization and community that supports this,” says Shelly Deering, regional manager at Airlift Northwest. “By collaborating with Tlingit & Haida and Super Bear IGA, we were able to deliver food and essential goods to our fellow Southeast Alaskans.”
By taking flight, Airlift Northwest was able to deliver vital help and make good on its core promise to act whenever it can.