August 24, 2014
Three decades ago Pegasus made its debut and now after dozens of upgrades in technology the UVa Medical Center is celebrating 30 years of service.
“August 31st of 1984 was our first flight,” says Bob Knox, flight nurse with Pegasus.
Knox was one of the original paramedics on board Pegasus, when it first took flight.
“I can honestly say I enjoy my job still to this day,” says Knox. “So I've done a little bit of everything, but I've been with the program the entire time.”
He says that the helicopter is great for getting around in emergencies, but the crew is most important.
“The helicopter lets us get to places and certainly gives us the ability to do speedy care, but it's the crew that takes care of making sure we are safe and that we adequately take care of the patient.”
There is a three person crew with a flight nurse, paramedic and pilot and they can travel hundreds of miles in a day.
“The average flight is going it be up to Culpeper, or over to Harrisonburg or Waynesboro, but we do go as far as Southwest Virginia which is 150, 200 miles,” says Bob Pugh, pilot for Pegasus.
Each year Pegasus makes nearly 650 trips to help save lives around Central Virginia.
Pugh has been flying Pegasus for the past 28 years and is still in awe by the people whom helps save.
“But you see some things and you don't think that person is going to make it, but they do make it and when you find out later, I find that pretty amazing sometimes.”
One interesting fact about the helicopter is how it got its name.
“One of the employees at UVA came up with Pegasus, which is the winged horse that brought wounded warriors off the battlefield,” says Knox. “We thought that was really appropriate and somewhat unique and that it set us apart.”
Since 1984, that name hasn't changed.