Sanford AirMed pilot celebrates 35 years of flying

Local News

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — When you think of a typical hospital staff, you’re probably imagining doctors and nurses, but they’re not the only ones who play a key role in saving lives. A local pilot is celebrating his 35 year anniversary with Sanford Thursday.

If you ever find yourself as a patient inside one of Sanford’s helicopters, rest assured your pilot will be well versed in the art of flying.

Kerry Berg is celebrating his 35th year with Sanford’s AirMed team on July 1st.

“You know, it’s all been pretty good. I was just thinking last night when I knew we were going to be getting together, what probably the key theme for me was,” Berg said. “It’s probably gratitude and appreciation. I mean one, I never thought I’d be here this long. It’s been just a great position. I’ve worked for a great organization.”

He’s responsible for flying the aircraft, and also manages the three other helicopters and their pilots across the region.

“The coworkers and the peers that you deal with on a day to day basis that probably make it the most rewarding,” Berg said.

After such a long time in the field, Berg is familiar with disaster.

He has to stay focused, even when he can hear medics working on the patient behind him.

“Because what I do is pretty important as far as making sure that they get to and from where they’re going safely,” Berg said. “Even though I may know what they’re doing, I try to make sure and just stay focused on exactly what I’m doing.”

Even though each day can be different, Berg is grateful for the job.

“We’ve got a good group of people,” Berg said. “We are really safety oriented which is the highest focus we have here, and just looking forward to continuing what we’re doing and building on that.”

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