Stacie Morse was a flight nurse with Guardian Flight killed in a crash in 2019, along with the pilot and flight paramedic. A new scholarship is named in her honor. (Courtesy Photo | Every Coast Helicopter Operations)

Stacie Morse was a flight nurse with Guardian Flight killed in a crash in 2019, along with the pilot and flight paramedic. A new scholarship is named in her honor. (Courtesy Photo | Every Coast Helicopter Operations)

Scholarship named after flight nurse killed in crash

The scholarship will help beginning nurses or ones becoming flight nurses

A nonprofit dedicated to flight nurses will name a scholarship after a Stacie Morse, a flight nurse killed in a Guardian Flight crash near Kake last year.

“It’s wonderful and it’s definitely something that she would have loved for her legacy. She was a go-getter and an educational advocate,” Susan Morse Delucia, Morse’s aunt, said in a phone interview Tuesday. “She was always trying to better her skills. There was no status quo.”

Morse, 30, and her unborn daughter, Delta Rae, were killed along with pilot Patrick Coyle, 63, and flight paramedic Margaret Langston, 43, in the fatal crash from Anchorage to Kake on Jan. 29. Now, Every Coast Helicopter Operations, a nonprofit that supports airborne EMS flights and operations, has created the Stacie Morse Education Scholarship for beginning nurses or nurses looking to specialize in the demanding profession of being a flight nurse.

“She was the first female member to be killed in the line of duty,” Mary Beth Wiedemann, a member of ECHO’s Flightcrew Assistance Support Team, said in a phone interview. “If you want to be a flight nurse, she was what you should be like. She really embodied the profession.”

Stacie Morse was a flight nurse with Guardian Flight killed in a crash in 2019, along with the pilot and flight paramedic. A new scholarship is named in her honor. (Courtesy Photo | Every Coast Helicopter Operations)

Stacie Morse was a flight nurse with Guardian Flight killed in a crash in 2019, along with the pilot and flight paramedic. A new scholarship is named in her honor. (Courtesy Photo | Every Coast Helicopter Operations)

Originally from Washington, Morse lived in Juneau and worked at Bartlett Regional Hospital when not on-shift with Guardian, Delucia said. She was an avid outdoorsman, Delucia said; a fisher, hunter and snowmachiner.

“We just wanted to make sure it goes to someone who has her mentality,” Delucia said. “Someone who can dedicate themselves to a remote area where there’s hardly any access to care.”

The scholarship will be a yearly one, Wiedemann said. To be eligible to apply, one must be a woman 18 or older either studying to become a registered nurse, or a one who’s already a registered nurse, looking to specialize in being a flight nurse like Morse.

“She loved where she was living, she loved what she was doing, she loved the people that she was taking care of,” Wiedemann said, speaking about Morse. “She was able to look at a person as a whole and take their needs into account.”

The scholarship also includes a trip to ECHO’s yearly industry conferences, Wiedemann said. With that conference, scholarship recipients are guaranteed a seat in ECHO’s underwater egress training — how to escape from a crashed, submerged aircraft.

Stacie Morse was a flight nurse with Guardian Flight killed in a crash in 2019, along with the pilot and flight paramedic. The scholarship in her name is dedicated to helping a nurse start her educational journey or an experienced one make the transition into flight nursing. (Courtesy Photo | Every Coast Helicopter Operations)

Stacie Morse was a flight nurse with Guardian Flight killed in a crash in 2019, along with the pilot and flight paramedic. The scholarship in her name is dedicated to helping a nurse start her educational journey or an experienced one make the transition into flight nursing. (Courtesy Photo | Every Coast Helicopter Operations)

“It comes with a trip to the annual ECHO critical care conference,” Wiedemann said. “To be a member of ECHO, you have to be a flight crew member. So they get an honorary membership.”

The scholarship also guarantees the winner a seat in the organization’s Future Flight Crew member, when they’re ready. The Future Flight Crew links participants with mentors to help them gain entry and succeed within the flight nurse profession. Becoming a flight nurse typically requires years of experience in critical care or emergency room environments, as well as a number of specialist certifications, before applying, Wiedemann said.

“She focused on the patient. When people spoke out about her, that’s something that she said. She always put the patient first,” Delucia said. “You don’t run across people like her very often. There was something special, and she had it.”

ECHO also has a team for helping airborne medevac programs respond to a crash within their organization, Wiedemann said, known as the Flightcrew Assistance Support Team.

“They teach you to take care of patients, but they don’t teach you what to do if your program has a crash,” Wiedemann said. “We have a team that will deploy to programs that have had a crash, fatal or nonfatal.”

Wiedemann, who is a part of the all-volunteer FAST, said that they try to be deployed within 24 hours for a crash.

“Police take good care of themselves. Fire takes good care of themselves. EMS, not so much,” Wiedemann said. “You can’t take care of yourself if you’re wounded.”

Thinking of applying?

The Stacie Morse Education Scholarship application is available on the ECHO website. Applications will be accepted till Feb. 29, Wiedemann said, and the scholarship will be awarded in May.

• Contact reporter Michael S. Lockett at 757-621-1197 or mlockett@juneauempire.com.

More in News

The Aurora Borealis glows over the Mendenhall Glacier in 2014. (Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)
Aurora Forecast

Forecasts from the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Geophysical Institute for the week of Feb. 5

Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire 
Edward Richards, left, a high school student in the Sitka School District, talks about the lack of mental health services in Alaska’s public schools as part of the testimony also offered by district Superintendent Frank Hauser, center, and student Felix Myers during a Senate Education Meeting on Monday at the Alaska State Capitol. The committee is proposing a 17% increase in the state’s school funding formula, which was remained essentially flat since 2017.
School’s in at the Capitol

Students and education leaders from around state make case for more classroom cash.

Folks at the Alaska State Capitol openly admit to plenty of fish tales, but to a large degree in ways intended to benefit residents and sometimes even the fish. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
The bizarre bills other state legislatures are considering

Alaska’s Legislature isn’t mulling the headline-grabbers some statehouses have in the works.

This photo shows snow-covered hills in the Porcupine River Tundra in the Yukon Territories, Canada. In July 1997, a hunter contacted troopers in Fairbanks, Alaska, and reported finding a human skull along the Porcupine River, around 8 miles (13 kilometers) from the Canadian border. Investigators used genetic genealogy to help identify the remains as those of Gary Frank Sotherden, according to a statement Thursday, Feb. 2, 2023, from Alaska State Troopers. (AP Photo / Rick Bowmer)
Skull found in ‘97 in Interior belongs to New York man

A skull found in a remote part of Alaska’s Interior in 1997… Continue reading

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)
Police calls for Saturday, Feb. 4, 2023

This report contains information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

Officer William Hicks stands with JPD Chief Ed Mercer and Deputy Chief David Campbell during a swearing in ceremony for Hicks on Thursday at the JPD station in Lemon Creek. (Jonson Kuhn / Juneau Empire)
New officer joins JPD’s ranks

The Juneau Police Department welcomed a new officer to its ranks Thursday… Continue reading

These photos show Nova, a 3-year-old golden retriever, and the illegally placed body hold trap, commonly referred to as a Conibear trap, that caught her while walking near Outer Point Trail last week. (Courtesy / Jessica Davis)
Dog narrowly survives rare illegally placed trap in Juneau

State wildlife officials outlined what to do if found in similar situation

Gavel (Courtesy photo)
Public defender agency to refuse some cases, citing staffing

ANCHORAGE — A state agency that represents Alaskans who cannot afford their… Continue reading

Most Read