By Geri Wopschall
Special to The Ely Times
Santa made a very special delivery to some McGill residents on Christmas Eve with a combined effort from people who work so hard to save lives, make sure we are all safe, and even sacrifice working on a Holiday to do so.
REACH58 (American Medical Flight) graciously donatee $1,000 to help bring Christmas to needy families in McGill and other designations around the state.
In addition to REACH58, several local residents helped raise money and food to be delivered as well.
White Pine County’s Fire Station 1 was in charge of arranging the food for Santa’s special delivery.
REACH58 planned very carefully to fly a helicopter into McGill with Santa Claus but due to inclement weather they had to change the plan to a fixed-wing airplane.
Nothing stopped this journey. They arrived at the McGill Fire Department where the White Pine County and McGill fire departments had an escort of fire trucks and command vehicles to help Santa and his Elves navigate through McGill to make those special stops.
The McGill fire department went to great efforts to make sure the recipients were at home for this extraordinary visit.
They even called the recipients to set up an appointment to have their smoke alarms checked. One couple said they didn’t need a smoke alarm because they had an all-electric home, and a representative from the fire department said “you do need a smoke alarm.”
The smoke detectors were donated by Bath Lumber delivered and installed by the dire department while Santa handed out gifts, food and visited with the young children.
Wopscall said “I was very grateful to be included in this magnificent effort to make Christmas great for everyone.”
Pilot Robby Testa and Flight Nurses John Muller and Todd McLaughlin, played very vital roles in bringing joy during this special moment.
Program manager Christopher Baird and flight nurse Bernice Johnson drove from Salt Lake to meet the plane and deliver gifts as well.
For many, this Christmas may be a memory they will hold very close to their hearts for a very long time.