Activities to honor REACT helicopter crew lost in Dec. 10 crash
A number of initiatives are under way at Rockford Health System (RHS) to honor the REACT helicopter crew lost in a Dec. 10 crash in a field south of Rochelle, Ill.
Flight nurse Jim Dillow, 40, who joined Rockford Memorial Hospital in 1996 and had more than 10 years of experience as a flight nurse; flight nurse Karen Hollis, 48, who joined the hospital as a critical care nurse in 1986 and had more than 10 years of experience as a flight nurse; and pilot Andy Olesen, 65, who had been a pilot for REACT for five years and was one week from retirement, all perished in the crash.
The crew had been called to Mendota Community Hospital at around 7:30 p.m., Dec. 10, to pick up a critically ill patient. However, the crew reportedly encountered unspecified bad weather and had planned to turn back when it crashed in a field near Compton, Ill., at around 8:30 p.m. No patients were on board when the helicopter crashed.
RHS has said it plans to continue the REACT program.
Following are details about remembrance initiatives planned by RHS:
Public memorial service Dec. 19
A public memorial service for the crew of the Rockford Memorial Hospital REACT helicopter is scheduled for 10 a.m., Wednesday, Dec. 19, at Rock Valley College (RVC) in the Physical Education Center (PEC). RVC is at 3301 N. Mulford Road, Rockford.
The memorial service will take place between 10 and 11 a.m., ending with a flyover by a number of aircraft. The service is open to the public, and the public is requested to arrive at 9 a.m. to be seated by 9:30 a.m.
Fund-raising for families
RHS has established “The REACT Crew Memorial Fund” to support the families of the crew members who were lost in the accident Dec. 10.
Contributions to the fund will be accepted by the Rockford Memorial Development Foundation and provided to the families.
Contributions may be directed to: Rockford Memorial Development Foundation, 2400 N. Rockton Ave., Rockford, IL 61103; by calling (815) 971-4141; or by donating online at www.rockfordhealthsystem.org/REACT.aspx.
Share memories, offer support with special e-mail address
A special e-mail address has been set up for RHS employees and members of the public to send in stories, memories and messages of support to the families and staff. These e-mails will be compiled, and some will be shared in a special edition of the RHS employee newsletter as well as with the crew members’ families. The e-mail is REACTMemories@rhsnet.org.
From the Dec. 19-25, 2012, issue
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