by Adam Amdor
On Sunday, August 6, 2017, Steve Fuller achieved 3,000 patient flights after two and half decades as a flight paramedic with Covenant Medical Center's Air Care team. The flight was from Ames to Iowa City.
"It's quite a milestone to reach in a flight career," Fuller says. "I've stayed with the program since I was hired in 1991. I thoroughly enjoy coming to work and enjoy what I do. I like the challenge."
Fellow flight paramedic Mark Mahler has been alongside Steve nearly every step of the way. "You can probably count on one hand the number of people in this state who have 3,000 flights. You've got to do the job for decades to get that far," Mahler says, noting the tight-knit family of the Covenant Air Care team. "We're not like a lot of helicopter services. We don't have turnover. We don't leave!"
What may be just as amazing as Steve Fuller's number of patient flights is the time he finds to serve other emergency services in Iowa. In addition to volunteering for area community ambulance services, Steve likes to teach - whether it's basic life support at Covenant Medical Center and Hawkeye Community College, advanced cardiac life support for Black Hawk County, or as an instructor trainer of fire and safety for NASCAR at the Iowa Speedway. Fuller's teaching also reaches beyond the state of Iowa, as a fire service instructor for Texas A&M for the past 12 years.
When he's not on a patient flight or helping other area emergency services, Steve enjoys spending time with his kids and grandchildren. He's also an avid fan of motorsports and likes to check out a movie – "If I can fit that in."
Steve Fuller was recognized with a plaque from fellow flight team members for his years of service and impressive number of patient flights!