|Neil Hise, CEO and President, CEMCO - Belen, New Mexico|
“I do it,” says Neil Hise, “Lots of other companies do, too.”
Hise is talking about companies that donate flights in their business aircraft so sick children and adults can reach specialized medical help. Flights are always without cost to the passenger.
Hise is CEO and President of family-owned CEMCO, Inc., a Belen, NM-based manufacturer of vertical shaft impact crushers and other specialty equipment that relies on a King Air C90 for business. He also uses the plane to help people in need.
“Many, many companies donate flights for those who otherwise would have no way to get treatment,” he says. “It’s one of the best ways for a business to give back to the community.
“Just recently, I had the privilege of flying a U.S. Navy Seal from his small town in southern New Mexico to Albuquerque, where they had the medical machines he needed. His name is Clay; we spent the whole day with him, and he kept saying how blessed he was, even with all his disabilities. It makes you appreciate being able to help our wounded warriors, and also appreciate being whole, with all your pieces and parts working.”
There are more than 30 non-profit organizations nationwide that help match the sick or infirm with companies and individuals who own airplanes. Among the best known is Angel Flight, which typically coordinates flights for patients needing surgery, chemotherapy, dialysis or other sophisticated treatments.
One of Hise’s favorite coordination organizations is Veterans Airlift Command, formed by a wounded veteran named Walter Frick. “Frick was a helicopter pilot in Vietnam, Hise says. “He was recovering in a hospital far from his parents and loved ones when he conceived of Veterans Airlift Command.