Students get close-up look at Lutheran Air chopper

    The dual-credit Health Occupation Program at Bellmont High School has really taken off.
    A group of 45 juniors from all three county high schools gathered near the softball field at Bellmont Wednesday afternoon to welcome the Lutheran Air helicopter, flown by pilot Derek Emmert. The aircraft is used for emergency life flights within a 100 mile radius of Fort Wayne.
    The new air craft is housed at the Wabash Airport and has been at it’s new home for roughly a week. Before being in Wabash the aircraft was in Idaho.
    The students were anxious to hop on board the aircraft and maneuvered their way from the pilot seat to the patient bed.  Janelle Gresla, health occupation educator at BHS, spoke about the ambition of the students in her class.
    “Last year we had more than 70 juniors in the class and we have figured out a way to lower the number by placing stiff expectations on the students,” she said. Gresla spoke of her strategy to maintain order in the room. “Now we have the students who want to be here, the ones that are pursuing college degrees in the health field.”
    For the last 24 years the health careers program has been offered to only seniors. Last year was the first time juniors were included in the program.
    For the complete story, see today's print or online editions.