The community’s shining beacon
Longtime resident Barbara Evans received the Care Flight Community Champion Award Wednesday for her determination to have a safety concern for pilots corrected.
Evans, a volunteer for Banner Churchill Community Hospital, travels to Reno to purchase goods for the Fallon Daily Bread, as she is the coordinator and meal planner for the organization. She said on trips she noticed a microwave tower’s beacon light was out and has been for almost two years.
“I know those are important lights for pilots who fly planes and helicopters,” Evans said. “So I contacted Joe Hart from News 4 and told him about my concern with the light being out and I started looking into who owns the tower. I know the tower is in Fernley and in order to build those towers you need a permit … the owners information should be with the Fernley clerk.”
Evans said with the light being out she is concerned for the pilots’ and crewmembers safety. She does not want to hear about anyone getting hurt over something that can be fixed easily.
Hart contacted the FAA, which then sent out a NOTAN (notice to airmen) about the unlit tower being a safety hazard, said Care Flight Nurse Kristin Combs.
Combs heard about Evans’ concern and her contact to the local media to get the problem fixed. She said the award was inspired by Evans compassion for the safety of the Care Flight workers and patients. She said her co-workers and her wanted to do something special for Evans since she showed her compassion for the safety of the flight crew.
“It hit a soft spot with all of us that someone cares about the work we’re doing and wants to make sure we’re safe while we’re doing our job,” Combs said. “It just really means a lot to us all that she did this and specifically mentioned Care Flight.”
Combs had a Care Flight team from Truckee fly to Fallon to present Evans with an award, a plaque, balloons, flowers and a year’s subscription to Flight Plan.
Mayor Ken Tedford Jr. said Evans has done a great thing to bring light to a potential dangerous situation for Care Flight and pilots.
“Everyone should be proud of Barbra that she took action to have this problem solved,” Tedford said. “She’s done a tremendous job getting the ball rolling on this problem that has been around for a few years. I know I appreciate what she’s done. I think it’s wonderful Care Flight decided to recognize her too. It shows their respect for her, it shows what an impactful group they are and how important they are to the community.”
Evans said the light has not been fixed yet. She said she is still trying to locate the owner of the tower so they can be notified about the situation and the need for a light replacement.
Evans and her family relocated from Hawthorne to Fallon in 1978. She has been married to her husband, Ron, for 46 years and has two daughters, Cynthia and Karena.