We join others in expressing our concern and dismay over the issue of a fine against Mercy Flights. A department of the U.S. Department of Transportation recently advised Mercy Flights they would fine them $40,000. For what, they surely must have asked—because they used the three letter word “our” in marketing material regarding the helicopter they have exclusive use of through a lease.
Don’t we often refer to the government as “our” government? Apparently that is a mistake because we certainly don’t own it, nor do we want to.
Mercy Flights surely must have wondered if the federal agency was serious, but soon learned they definitely were and if Mercy chose to quibble, the fine could increase dramatically. For the moment, unless that nasty three letter word appears again, Mercy Flights only has to pay a $15,000 fine.
Figure how many memberships does it take for $15,000? My single senior combination (including air) annual membership is $55. It would take about 270 new memberships in that bracket to pay the $15,000. Surely most of us would prefer if Mercy Flights suddenly got 270 new members that it be used to either obtain new equipment or update equipment they have.
How many lives have been saved by using “our” helicopter? Will more be saved when Mercy Flights uses “the” helicopter? Somehow we doubt it.
We also find it most interesting that just within the last two weeks, the Oregon Department of Transportation authorized a $3.7 million grant to Mercy Flights to build a hanger and operations building. One wonders if the government ever referred to “your” helicopter in the multi-page grant. If so, shame on them. We would venture to bet ODOT somehow thinks the helicopter is enough of Mercy Flight’s to shelter it.
It truly is very hard to believe “our” government performed such a stunt. Or is it?