Alfred Brockopp Jr. is a Vietnam Veteran and retired pilot. He was one of the very first to fly AeroCare, then known as React, for UMC when we were still known as Lubbock General Hospital. He witnessed, and played a major role in, the pioneering of a new mode of transportation for patients who quickly needed to get to a hospital for care!
In 1985, AeroCare got their first plane, filed paperwork with the Federal Aviation Administration, and began training their pilots. One of those pilots was Mr. Brockopp. Before officially flying for AeroCare, he learned how to properly load and unload special medical equipment, such as incubators, amongst other things. It took months of training for all involved— from pilots to doctors and nurses to paramedics—before officially beginning to fly, but once Mr. Brockopp was able to transport the first patient to Lubbock General, he was proud and joyful.
“It’s just really rewarding when you are able to transport someone and deliver them to care just in time,” Mr. Brockopp said. “Even so, I always say, ‘to God be the glory.’ My flying helped patients, but the glory for it was never mine to keep!”
One of Mr. Brockopp’s best memories during his 2 ½ years of transporting for us was when he transported a kidney around Christmas time. He flew to pick the kidney up from the Eastern part of the U.S. and had to get it back to Lubbock before it expired.
We thank you for your service both to the country and to our patients, Mr. Brockopp! Without it, locally, we may not have a great air transportation program for patients!