Living in Bangor, I have always found it reassuring to have the National Guard nearby. It's amazing to watch their big planes touch down and take off at the airport. And there's something kind of neat hearing and watching the helicopters hover around overhead.

When you think of what they're training for, and what their called to do, you cannot help but respect the men and women who operate these impressive machines.

And while we may not need another reason to thank these heroes, there is one. So let me tell you about it.

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A situation came up recently, according to Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center's Facebook Page, wherein the hospital had to call in a favor from the National Guard. Thankfully they stepped up to pinch hit for both our local LifeFlight helicopters and Boston MediFlight helicopters, transporting a critical patient, to get the help they needed.

"Picture a Black Hawk helicopter… now imagine an extremely sick cardiac patient needing a great deal of heavy equipment to be safely transported to Boston for care. Neither the LifeFlight of Maine (LOM) nor that of Boston MedFlight helicopters could provide the space nor lift capacity for the equipment, patient, and crew. So, LOM contacted the Maine Army National Guard, with whom LOM has enjoyed a long-term relationship."

The Maine Army National Guard sent over a Black Hawk Helicopter and crew, which had the space and could carry the heavy load. The fact that our local hospital has such a great relationship with our local National Guard Units is an invaluable asset to have in this community. In this case, it could have meant the difference between life and death.

The outstanding and professional staff that typically work the LifeFlight helicopters had the knowledge and skills to do the job. They're only limit was capacity. To be able to ask someone trustworthy to step in, so you can hand that duty off, is not a decision they make lightly. And it should bring us all a level of pride and relief to know we have folks with such skills and tools, working together to keep us safe and alive in times of need.

Go team!

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