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Rico Aviation gives senior students a look at careers in flight, emergency services

Posted by: tdt -

Rico Aviation gives senior students a look at careers in flight, emergency services

Dalhart Texan

Dalhart High School seniors got a behindthe- scenes look at the emergency services field on Friday morning with Rico Aviation’s senior day at Dalhart Municipal Airport. Rico Aviation brought out their Medivac helicopter and fixed-wing aircraft, while fire and EMS crews from Dallam and Hartley counties brought their ambulances for the students to get a hands-on look at the equipment and talk to the firefighters, paramedics and flight crews.

The pandemic sort of put a damper on things the past two years.

“This is something that we used to try to do every year and this is something that we want to start doing again every year, especially for the seniors,” said Matt Matlock of Rico Aviation.

He said Rico wasn’t out in the community as much as it was before pandemic and he wants that to change now that life is trying to get continued from page 1 back to normal.

“The pandemic just didn’t affect everyone on a personal level, it affected everybody on a professional level, too,” he said. “We’ve got to remind everybody, ‘Hey, it’s OK, we can get back out in the community again.’

“Half the area of Dalhart and Hartley forgot that Rico was here, I think. Because they just didn’t get to see us anymore.”

Senior Day is Rico’s opportunity to interact with the community and hopefully spark an interest in the students.

“I really, really wanted to get us back out in the community and be a part of it again and let these kids see helicopters and airplanes and fire engines up close,” Matlock said. “They get to see them going down the street or taking off or leaving the hospital, but how often do these kids the chance to climb into a Medivac helicopter and actually talk to a flight nurse or a flight paramedic or a pilot?”

He said the pandemic has hurt the emergency services industry and hopefully senior day will spark an interest.

“I really hope it does because we’re struggling very hard in EMS, fire and law enforcement right now,” Matlock said. “Everybody just got burned out and either retired or just flat quit. We’ve been trying to get nurses and pilots and medical hired for three, four years now and we’re just barely getting up to staff, whereas before the pandemic, we had a list of candidates on a wait list.

“Hopefully this will spark a little interest and let them see that there’s many different sides of serving their community.”

Based in Amarillo, Rico Aviation also operates out of Dalhart and Tucumcari.

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