NFTA Transporter

Friday, August 29, 2014

Captain Major to the Rescue

Saturday, August 16 at 9:30 a.m. the phone rang in the firehouse at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport. An elderly woman had fallen in one of the restrooms in the terminal and required assistance. Responding firefighters found a woman on the floor in a very weak condition. It turns out the woman was a cancer patient who had just been released from the Roswell Park Cancer Institute the day before so she could attend a family reunion in Charleston South Carolina.

Attending the family reunion was a dying wish of hers, so she could see her grandchildren at least one more time. Unfortunately, for valid safety concerns, no airline was comfortable in allowing her to fly due to the seriousness of her condition and that’s when Captain Bill Major sprang into action.

Captain Major made numerous telephone calls over a two hour period trying to arrange a flight for her to get to her destination. He worked with the woman’s son, grandchildren, Mercy EMS, and Mercy Flight to make arrangements for her to travel to see her family.


At 1:10 p.m., she was picked up from the BNIA by a Mercy Flight vehicle and driven to the Genesee County Airport in Batavia. From there she was flown to South Carolina by a Mercy Flight Learjet. Even though Captain Major, who by now was off duty, he continued to coordinate the entire itinerary for the woman and she was able to reach her South Carolina destination. Her wish had come true! Thanks to Bill’s relentless efforts.

Captain Major’s display of dedication to duty and fortitude to ensure this story had a happy ending speaks volumes about his character and his willingness to do whatever it took to help this lady. Well done sir.