Senator Helming Recognizes Vietnam War Veteran, Mercy Flight Pilot

Pamela Helming

November 10, 2017

From left to right: Mercy Flight Central President and CEO Jeff Bartkoski, Senator Pam Helming, Flight Nurse Jason Camilo, Chief Pilot Ron Fast, Flight Paramedic Drew Cusimano, Shirley Fast, Ngao Molungwe, a ride-along program participant, and Director of Operations Jim Mizerak.

CANANDAIGUA – Senator Pam Helming visited Mercy Flight Central on Thursday, Nov. 2 to learn how the nonprofit organization serves our region and our state. Mercy Flight transports patients by helicopter during life-and-death emergencies and provides medical transports. While there, she had the opportunity to recognize Chief Pilot Ronald Fast, who served as a medevac helicopter pilot in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War. Mr. Fast was nominated by Director of Operations Jim Mizerak for the New York State Senate Veterans Hall of Fame. With his wife, Shirley, and other Mercy Flight staff members present, Senator Helming presented Mr. Fast with a New York State Senate Citation to honor his service and his nomination. A flight paramedic and flight nurse explained to Senator Helming the helicopters and the equipment, and Mercy Flight Jeff Bartkokski, Director of Operations Jim Mizerak, and other staff members gave her a tour of their building and an update on their operations.

“Ronald Fast is a fantastic example of what we look for in nominations for the New York State Senate Hall of Fame – someone who served our country in the military and who continues to serve our community with the same skill set. He truly embodies what Mercy Flight Central is all about – an organization that answers the call of duty around our region and our state during times of crisis. He is not alone; Jeff Bartkokski and Jim Mizerak also served in the military and now serve our community, which is what makes Mercy Flight such a great organization. It was impressive to hear that the four Mercy Flight helicopters contain state-of-the-art equipment that virtually any hospital would, so paramedics and nurses can administer life-saving critical care en route to the trauma center,” Senator Helming said.

Senator Helming represents the 54th Senate District, which consists of Seneca and Wayne Counties, parts of Cayuga and Ontario Counties, and the towns of Lansing and Webster. For more information, please visit Senator Helming’s website, or follow @SenatorHelming on Facebook or Twitter.