How a Helijet Air Ambulance Pilot Finds Peace In The Chaos

Capt. Bree Stotts’ career path took a typical turn early on – being in the air was love at first flight. And when she moved from flying commercial airplanes to flying helicopters, things felt almost right. But it wasn’t until she began flying for the BC Air Ambulance Service, transporting people in dire medical conditions, that she truly felt like she had found the perfect fit.

A job that requires staff to work 12-14 hour shifts and have pilots on-call 24 hours a day, seven days a week, isn’t always easy. And while there’s plenty of downtime in the hangar checking over the aircraft, those hours are offset by the moment the emergency line rings. Knowing someone requires your immediate assistance carries a certain weight – but the pre-flight procedure is far from frantic. Orderly, measured efficiency is the key to being flawless when lives are on the line. And that gravity instills a certain type of calm – it’s finding that peace in the chaos that Stotts loves most.

Seeing people at their most vulnerable allows Stotts to reflect on the fragility of life, and it’s what makes her appreciate tucking her kids into bed every night. It’s not beyond her to realize that what she does every day carries its own risk, but that what she’s doing on a daily basis – helping save lives – is what makes her job worth it in every moment.

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