SYLACAUGA, Ala. (WIAT) — Tuesday morning, hundreds attended a special memorial service for Life Saver 4 pilot Marc Gann and flight nurse Adam Russell at Sylacauga High School.
Gann and Russell were killed in a helicopter crash on April 2. Medic Amanda Daniels was injured but survived.
With a bagpipe rendition of “Amazing Grace,” a flyover from local air medical services, a ringing of the bell and a dispatch last call, the community wanted to create a farewell fit for their fallen heroes.
At the service, organized by Air Methods who owns Life Saver 4, Gann and Russell were described as men of bravery and faith.
They were fathers, husbands, friends and mentors who, according to the Air Methods CEO, helped save thousands of lives through their flights aboard Life Saver 4 over the years.
“We are grateful Mark and Adam showed us how to love our neighbor selflessly,” said JaeLynn Williams, Air Methods CEO, to the crowd.
Daniels was in attendance at the service and helped present her teammates’ helmets to their families.
The grieving community said they’re taking comfort in the fact that their angels in the air are now angels watching over them from heaven.
“There are no better angels than those who serve to help someone in need,” Williams said tearfully.
A Life Saver 4 flight nurse reflected on how much Gann cared for his patients, including a 16-year-old girl he helped rescue from a crash.
“He attended her high school graduation, her wedding, and she brought her first born child by the base on the way home so Mark could see him,” said Mike Cathers, flight nurse on Life Saver 4.
For the hundreds in attendance, it was important to preserve that legacy.
“When you see everybody here in the stands and the people back here behind us, that’s what it was, it was honor,” said Tony White, mayor of Oak Grove.
That’s a feeling shared by Jim Dennis, the captain of the Childersburg Rescue Squad who worked with Gann, Russell and Daniels for years.
“When Life Saver would come in, if it was Life Saver 4, it was like the cavalry was there … It hurts, [they were] great friends, and they’re gonna be greatly missed,” Dennis said, holding back tears.
The visitation for Marc Gann is Wednesday, April 11, from 10:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. at Radney Smith Funeral Home. His funeral will be at Sylacauga Municipal Airport at 1:00 p.m. Russell was laid to rest on Monday.