NECC Observer

The student news website of Northern Essex Community College, Haverhill and Lawrence, Mass.

MedFlight lands on campus

A MedFlight landed on the Haverhill campus to carry an injured motorist to the hospital after a car accident on nearby I495Chad Gorham

A MedFlight landed on the Haverhill campus to carry an injured motorist to the hospital after a car accident on nearby I495

After a serious car accident on Interstate 495 on Wednesday, April 20, a MedFlight helicopter was forced to land on the NECC’s sports fields to meet an ambulance which was carrying a seriously injured person.

As the ambulances and fire engines began to arrive on campus, nobody blinked an eye, but then a loud roaring engine began to get louder and louder. Faculty, staff and students began to pour out of their offices and classrooms to see what was going on. The baseball team was in the middle of practice directly next to where the helicopter landed. A lot of confusion was beginning to take place as nobody had an idea what was going on. Some people thought it might just be a training exercise because the police academy and Haverhill firefighters usually train on campus.

About two minutes after the helicopter arrived a couple security guards came running over from the direction of their office at the Technology Center.

Dina Brown, the Director of Student Engagement asked them what was going on.

As they ran by they responded with, “We are not sure yet.”

After a few minutes security returned to let everyone know that it was not a training – that it was an actual emergency from a car accident that had happened on 495.

Some students were concerned with the confusion that the helicopter caused on campus. Most did not know that NECC was in fact a spot where MedFlight is able to land because of its vast open spaces.

Jennifer Assenza, a Criminal Justice major, said, “The presence of the police academy has led to several incidences where the faculty and students have expressed concern. When the helicopter landed on school grounds, this was just another source of confusion.”

Tarah MacGregor, a Liberal Arts major, did not witness the event, but when she heard about the event she immediately thought back to the day that she witnessed the police academy climbing the stairs in the C building with their finger guns.

“I wouldn’t know how to tell a real drill from an emergency drill at the school. I was one of the students going down the stairs when the cadets had their finger guns. I had been walking down the stairs and when I turned into a new flight it took me a minute to register he wasn’t actually holding a gun, because my immediate reaction given today’s society was fear. I don’t think I have ever been so scared in my life until I realized it was his fingers.”

Sara Pena, an Engineering major, is concerned with the confusion of students knowing what is real and what’s not real. “I feel that they might blur together and students just might brush off an actual emergency as a drill.”

Pena feels likes there is no clear way to distinguish which might be real and which might not be.

Pena said, “The students most likely find it confusing because we never get information about anything that happens on campus. Almost like we don’t deserve to know.”

Colby Patrie also did not see the helicopter event but felt very strongly about it nonetheless.

“I can see how that could cause confusion, but me personally, I would have thought it was an accident or an emergency.”