Spirit Strong was the continued message of a Memorial Event on Friday, April 26, which honored three members of an Ascension Wisconsin Spirit Medical Transport flight crew who lost their lives in the tragic crash of Spirit Air 2 in the Town of Hazelhurst on April 26, 2018.

About 200 colleagues, community members and EMS partners attended the event held in the Ascension Wisconsin Spirit Hanger at Howard Young Medical center, part of Ascension.

“This event was a fitting tribute to our lost colleagues and was another important step in our recovery process,” said Ted Ryan, System Director of Medical Transport Services for Ascension Wisconsin. “We move forward by remembering their talents and dedicated service to our organization.”

Lost in the crash were Air Methods pilot Rico Caruso, 32 of Hazelhurst; Ascension Wisconsin Spirit flight nurse Klint Mitchell, 30 of Watersmeet, Michigan and Ascension Wisconsin Spirit flight paramedic Gregory Rosenthal, 43 of Mosinee. The crew had completed a successful patient transfer to Madison and was returning to its base at Howard Young.

The event included the blessing of a memorial stone that will be placed near the hanger at a later date.

It was also announced that the benefit fund for the affected families of the tragedy administered by the Howard Young Foundation provided nearly $151,000 in support. The fund will remain open through the end of May with one hundred percent (100%) of the funds raised going to the affected families. To donate, please visit the foundation’s website at howardyoungfoundation.org or call the office at 715-439-4005. Gifts may also be mailed to Howard Young Foundation, P.O. Box 470, Woodruff, WI 54568. Please make checks payable to Howard Young Foundation – Spirit.

“We are incredibly grateful for the overwhelming support we have received from across the country,” said Ryan.

Ascension Wisconsin Spirit annually provides approximately 3,500 ground transfers, 550 air transports and 650 paramedic intercepts across the system.