I was writing my annual Christmas post for my blog when the news of the accident that has irretrievably impacted my friends and colleagues who I have worked with so much over the last few years in New South Wales made me want to express my thoughts especially as I couldn't be with them. So I dedicate this blog to Mick Wilson and all of us who have worked with him.
Christmas means different things to different people, and it seems these days most of the relevance of the day has little to do with its actual meaning. For Christians it means the birth of Jesus and is of course the real celebration of Christmas.
Mick Wilson (Photo - ASNSW website)
So while Christmas Day for us in Adelaide began in a spirit of optimism and gratitude it became a day of reflection and sadness as we learnt of an accident involving a colleague; Paramedic Mick Wilson. He had died the previous evening at Carrington Falls south of Wollongong serving the community that was his life’s work. The news of his death was a shocking loss but what especially played on our minds was how his family must be suffering having been expecting him home that evening to celebrate the start of Christmas but instead receiving such tragic news. Christmas will be forever altered for his family and those that knew him.
The kinship that exists within a emergency medical crews (EMS) is more than just a working relationship. It’s a synergy based on the special individual qualities of each member of the team, mutual respect and the combined results of their endeavours. For helicopter EMS crews, the links that bind them are often forged in demanding and unpredictable situations that build special bonds among the flying and medical crews. Mick was a person that brought a unique strength to every crew he flew with.
NSW Ambulance helicopters at Bankstown and some of the crew that support the operation.
Men die doing their work but that knowledge has never stopped the good from doing what they believe in. George S. Patton, who was commander of the US Third Army during World War II said;
It is foolish and wrong to mourn the man who died. Rather we should thank God that such men lived.”
Belief in God brings meaning to life and and our time on earth no matter how long or short. It’s not God’s role to prevent tragedy but to bring salvation to those who put their faith in Him. I’m sure Mick is now in God’s presence which is eternal life. And nor is Mick’s life over in those left behind, nor will his memory fade. I’d had the good fortune to work with Mick on a number of flights over the last few years from Bankstown and Wollongong. I have no doubt that whenever we take-off he will be a presence in the minds of each and every one of us particularly when we fly over the rugged and precipitous gorges and escarpments of the the NSW hinterland. Although I’m away from NSW mostly at the moment this tragedy is often in my thoughts, both for his family and for all the EMS crews that will be for much time to come suffering the loss of respected colleague. In my thoughts I can see him clearly in my mind and recall his voice. I’d like to think of him as a friend of mine.
Belmore Falls in the escarpments of the Shoalhaven River area. The escaprpment country of NSW will forever bring challenges to EMS crews as well as invoke memories of Mick Wilson.
This Christmas has brought a special sadness to us, it also brought a gratitude that we had known and worked alongside Mick Wilson. But also being the time of the year that by celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ reminds us that we are all able to receive redemption as well as the knowledge in the everlasting grace of God.