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Longmont Airport flight team receives recognition for Longmont flood assistance

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At the October 10th, 2013 Longmont Airport Advisory Board meeting, held in the City Council Chambers, Longmont Police Dept. Commander and Public Information Officer Jeff Satur was on hand to give the board a (at times, emotion filled) flood update and to recognize the Airport and the role the Airport played in assistance during flooding that affected the city just weeks earlier.

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According to Airport Advisory Board documents, "Throughout the four day event and in the week after, the Airport and its tenants provided a valuable service to the City’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC). The services the Airport provided allowed the EOC staff to direct emergency response, direct recovery operations, provide aerial mapping and assessment, provide aerial engineering and dispatch the appropriate resources to the area’s most in need. For all intent and purposes, the aircraft the Airport provided were the eyes and the emergency response team from the air. Commander Satur will provide the Board with an overview and recap of the flood event and will also recognize some individuals/businesses for outstanding service to the City of Longmont during the flood."

In addition to recognition given to the many individuals and community and school groups who supported the airport with flood assistance, these members of the Longmont Airport flight team were recognized:

Mile-Hi Skydiving: "Beginning on Thursday, September 12th and continuing through Thursday, September 19th, Mile-Hi flew 8 missions for the City of Longmont’s Emergency Operation Center. On a few of the flights, there was advance notice, but on most, as dictated by the EOC, these flights literally occurred with a 30 minute or less telephone call. In a way, during this crisis, Mile-Hi became an extension of City staff, providing us with their aircraft and personnel to help gauge the response needed to the flood. Most of the critical film footage from these flights allowed personnel in the EOC to direct emergency resources where needed, direct recovery operations, provided aerial assessment, aerial mapping, aerial engineering and provided an airborne command center in which to conduct operations. Their staff was always professional, courteous and had a real “can do” attitude to help the City through this event. Besides helping the City, Mile-Hi also provided flight services for the National Guard, FEMA, the Corps of Engineers, officials from the Town of Lyons and Weld County Officials."

Helicopter pilot Doug Lyle: "Beginning on Thursday, September 12th, Doug Lyle has flown more than 16 missions for the City of Longmont’s Emergency Operation Center. Like Mile-Hi, on a few of the flights, there was advance notice, but on most, as dictated by the EOC, these flights literally occurred with a 30 minute or less telephone call. Doug’s professionalism during this event was outstanding. He was ready and willing to help in any way he could and he made himself available to the City at all times. He also did this, while watching his own home property flood, which couldn't have been easy. Doug was our first flight up that morning of the flood at about 9:30 a.m. Visibility was poor, the rain was heavy and the ceiling was low. Doug’s first trip was with the City Manager and Public Works Director, followed by the Public Safety Chief. In fact, the flight with the Public Safety Chief got cut short because the ceiling started collapsing and the rain intensified so much visibility was quickly diminishing. Those two initial missions proved to be the most valuable as that was when the EOC made the decision to evacuate the Greens, the Village and the areas east of Sunset Street along Boston Avenue toward Main Street. Throughout the course of the next four days, the helicopter missions provided us with critical information on the status of our City infrastructure, especially Button Rock Dam. While we could see Button Rock from the air in the Otter, the helicopter provided us with an up close view that was vital to assessing the damage."

Videographer Payton Peterson: "Beginning on Wednesday September 11th, Payton has provided meritorious service in the face of adversity to the City of Longmont for his aerial coverage of the flood event. Payton is a native of Longmont and a graduate of Silver Creek High School. Prior to this event, Payton had already made a name for himself in the world of videography. With the exception of the first two missions flown by the City, Payton has been on every mission since, capturing the flood event on video. It was Payton’s videography that provided the EOC staff with the information they needed in order to direct the resources to the most impacted areas of Longmont. Payton’s video’s also provided a real time chronology of the event so that the City could continue to direct resources and begin the recovery effort. Without the video that Payton captured, the City would have been hard pressed to manage this event as well as they have. All of Payton’s videos of the flood were posted on the City’s web site and You Tube. To date, there have been over 389,700 views of his work."

Commander Jeff Satur, who in addition to the duties he performed in the city's emergency operations center, helped coordinate and fly on 12 missions overseeing the flood event, also received special recognition by the board and wing pinning as an honorary member of the Longmont Airport Flight Team. "In addition to the duties he was performing in the EOC, Commander Satur also coordinated and flew on 12 missions overseeing the flood event. For many of you that saw the video’s on the City’s web site or on You Tube, the voice on all those video’s describing what the viewers were Commander Satur worked many 16 hour straight shifts in addition to flying the aerial support missions. Just about all of the news media coverage information, social media, web site updates and even the LMO updates the Airport Manager sent were from Commander Satur. On each mission flown, Commander Satur directed the operation and what tasks were to be accomplished with that particular flight. Commander Satur assimilated well into the aviation functions and by his last flight, he was even speaking our language and knew what a TFR and NOTAM was. Commander Satur worked professionally with the flight crew and other participants, making sure each person’s request was fulfilled. At the end of each mission, Commander Satur would report back to the EOC with the information the team had gathered and resources were directed where needed most. Because of Commander Satur’s leadership and dedication, this City fared better than some of our sister communities and for that we are all thankful."

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City of Longmont official Vance Brand Municipal Airport website

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