KALISPELL – Logan Health will host its 44th annual ALERT banquet on April 30 to raise funds for helicopters and advanced survival aircraft used in rescue missions, operating 365 days a year with one minute notice.
“We can’t wait a day or two to pick someone up if they’re injured on a mountain, we have to go now,” said Bob Sandman, chairman of ALERT’s advisory board.
ALERT has helped save thousands of lives since its inception in 1975.
“And the main reason it still exists is the partnership between Logan Health and the community,” Sandman added.
Sandman said the program has performed more than 19,000 patient flights, saving more than 2,000 lives.
“Don’t forget the 38 grizzly bear attack victims that the helicopters brought to this hospital, yes, it’s an incredible program,” Sandman said.
Sandman said the annual banquet celebrates the entire ALERT team, which operates two helicopters and two fixed-wing aircraft on rescue missions in northwest Montana.
“Eight fixed-wing pilots, five helicopter pilots, a few mechanics, a lot of nurses so it’s an ongoing program,” Sandman added.
He said having this resource in the Flathead Valley is essential to providing the best possible care for an active outdoor community.
“People love to come to the valley and live here because we love to recreate but there are some pretty nasty places we recreate and it’s very valuable to this community to have this service, if you get hurt we’ll come look for you and we will do our best to save you.” – Bob Sandman, Chairman of the ALERT Advisory Board
The ALERT Banquet will be held April 30 at 5:30 p.m. at the Flathead County Fairgrounds Trade Center Building, 265 N Meridian Road, Kalispell.
Tickets can be purchased on the day of the event or in advance online.