Female pilots share passion for EMS, patient care
Nationwide, only 8.4% of pilots are women; however, Megan Meier and Sarah Snell make up 25% of Aspirus MedEvac pilots in Wisconsin
By Rachel Engel
WAUSAU, Wis. — Two female air medical pilots are sharing their passion for the job and what drew them to the field.
Megan Meier and Sarah Snell both work for Aspirus MedEvac and the two women make up 25% of the company’s pilots. Nationally, women only account for 8.4% of all pilots, according to the FAA.
Meier was drawn to the idea of helping people in critical moments.
“When I started my initial flight lessons for my fixed-wing certification at the Downtown Wausau Airport, the Aspirus MedEvac helicopter was based on the premises,” Meier said in a news release. “Every time I saw the helicopter lift off, I was in awe, and I decided shortly thereafter that my career goal was to someday fly that helicopter for Aspirus and help others in need.”
Snell, who has been flying for 22 years, pilots MedEvac Air 2 in Mosinee, Wis.
“When the ‘tones’ arrive, we need to be ready to go to any location within about 200 miles of our base and arrive prepared for a large range of medical issues,” she explained. “We have to consider all of the options and variables, then react quickly and safely without knowing what we will actually find when we get there.”
Meier pilots MedEvac Air 1 based in Woodruff, and she has been flying for 12 years. Through her work, Meier feels she can make a significant difference in people’s lives.
“I have an immediate feeling of purpose and opportunity to assist someone in need,” she said. “I find myself dedicating all my attention with our team to do the best in our emergency efforts.”
She encourages other women to follow their dreams, regardless of the challenges they may face.
“If I can be a role model for young women that is wonderful, and I feel very honored if that is the case. However, I hope to be a role model and inspiration for young men as well,” added Megan. “Your life and success are a by-product of choices, motivation, hard work and self-worth. From that standpoint I urge all who have a dream to pursue it.”