“It was a very neat process, to say the least,” Nance said. “We were there as the communication developed. I got to see it all come together.”
Nance, who took an EMT course two years ago, chose to take this internship during his one-month winter term. Though he is an English literature major, he said he still might end up in emergency management.
In his hometown of Lebanon or where he goes to school in Greencastle, Nance said, “if a school bus with six kids on it crashes, it’s a big deal. But that happens every day here. I wanted something big and exciting to happen. And I’m glad it did. And I’m glad everyone was okay.”
Nance was able to follow Freese around as he spoke with and treated patients. Most had water- or weather-related injuries. Nance helped each of those patients off the boat and then to a hospital — or back to LaGuardia Airport, where some had parked their cars.
“It was mind-blowing. I had a lot of fun,” Nance said, “but I’m sure I’d feel much different if there was a death toll.”
The pilot, Chelsey B. “Sully” Sullenberger III, was the real hero on Thursday, Nance said. But he’s thankful he could be a part of the process. It’s something that he won’t soon forget.
“Next time I see or hear something like this on the news, it will be very tangible to me,” Nance said. “I’ll have that insider’s perspective.”
Nance is a 2006 graduate of Lebanon High School. His dad and step-mom, Rob and Kendra Nance, and mom and step-dad, David and Andrea Batts, live in Lebanon. And so does his brother, Michael, who is a probation officer in town.
“We’re just proud of him,” Michael said. “He’s flying home Wednesday. We’re very excited.”