2A - Wednesday, November 1, 2006
Explained Before You Were Here
A ride on the hospital helicopter
'U' pilot responds to regional emergencies
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
413 E. Huron St.
Ann ArborMI 48109-1327
DONNM. FRESARD ALEXISFLOYD
Editor in Chief Business Manager
Matt Douglass exploded out of
his seat mid-sentence Monday to
respond to a shrill alarm.
When the commotion ceased
a few minutes later, Douglass
returned to his seat. "Just a small
fire," he said.
Douglass, a Survival Flight
pilot at the University Hospital,
said on some days his job can be
boring, but on others, the excite-
ment never seems to end.
Survival Flight is the Univer-
sity's air medical transport pro-
As a pilot of one of three Bell
430 helicopters in the Universi-
ty's fleet, Douglass is responsible
for transporting patients safely
out of emergency situations.
Aside from flying "scene calls"
or emergency rescue missions,
Douglass transports patients who
can't travel by road between hos-
pitals. He also delivers patients
from hospitals unable to care for
serious injuries to those that are
"I like scene calls the best,"
Douglass said. "You never know
what you will get. It's quick-
paced, and the adrenaline never
Some days are so packed with
emergencies, he said, pilots are
too busy to eat. "And I like to eat,"
Douglass and a crew of at least
two highly trained registered
nurses are required to lift off
within five minutes of a call.
He said the nurses must be
able to "do anything a doctor can
Standing on the landing pad,
Douglass opened the helicopter's
rear door, revealing a functional
emergency room, which he said
can support neonatal care. The
helicopter travels at an average
speed of 150 mph and can fly as
far as Indianapolis and Chicago.
Douglass has served as a pilot
in the U.S. Army Reserves since
He left his job at Survival Flight
in January of 2003 with another
pilot and a mechanic to serve in
Iraq. Douglass returned to Ann
Arbor in March of last year.
Douglass works 12-hour shifts,
seven days a week, with at best
three days off every other week.
To ease his and other pilots'
workload, Douglass said the Uni-
versity hospital is looking to hire
"This was supposed to be my
day off," Douglass said on Mon-
- Want to know more about a
University job? E-mail suggestions to
Matt Douglass, Survival Flight pilot at the University Hospital,
the landing pad yesterday.
Man tries to eat WHEN: Monday at
artifiCal flowers WHAT: A restaura
WHERE: Harlan Hatcher er said a man was ft
Graduate Library lently trying to obtt
GduE:LMoraryatab refund for food he I
WHEN: Monday at about purchased, DPS rep
6:30 p.m. Plchaedltw
-WHAT: A suspicious man, Police have dealt w
who is unaffiliated with the man on numerous o
'University, was found try- sions.
ing to eat artifical flowers
and tamper with students' No fire, no
backpacks, the Department
-of Public Safety reported. He smoke mea
'was transported to the Uni- falsea r
versity Hospital Psychiatric aiarnl
Emergency Room. WHERE: Taubman
CAMPUS EVENTS & NOTES
WHAT: A display of photo-
graphs and printed engrav-
ings of former actors who
performed in Shakespeare
WHO: University curator
Kathryn Beam and David
Howells, curator of the
Royal Shakespeare Com-
WHERE: North Lobby
of the Ann Arbor District
WHAT: A lecture on mor-
tality in Russia and South
WHO: Sociology Prof. Bar-
WHEN: Today at noon
WHERE: School of Social
Work, room 1636
WHAT: A meditation work-
shop to introduce several
types of meditation
WHO: University Unions
Arts and Programs
WHEN: Today from 6 to 8
WHERE: Henderson and
Koessler rooms of the Mich-
Please report any error in
the Daily to corrections@
The spinach plants respon-
sible for making peope sick
last month did not get E.
coli through their roots, as was
believed. The outbreak, experts
say, likely resulted frommanure
being splashed onto the leaves.
Plants are actually highly selec-
tive about what they soak up
through their roots.
If you vote in Iowa's first
you can choose between
the candidates from the
Republican, Democratic and
>FOR MORE, SEE ELECTION GUIDE
The Day of the Dead, cel-
ebrated today and tomor-
row, is an ancient Aztec
celebration of the memory of
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The Michigan taily (ISSNI0745-967)is published Monday through Friday duringthe
fall and winter terms by students at the University of Michigan.One copy is available
free of chargetoall readers.Additional copiesmay bepicked up atthe Dailysoffice
for$2.Subscriptionsforfall term, startingin September viaU.mailare $110.
Winter termJanuary throughApril)is$115,yearlong(Septemberthrough April)
is $195. University affiliates are subject toa reduced subscription rate.On-campus
subscriptions for falltermare$35.Subscriptionsmust beprepaid.TheMichiganDaily
is a memberof The Associated Press and The Associated Collegiate Press.
Man tries to
refund for food
WHERE: Pierpont Commons
WHEN: Yesterday at about
WHAT: DPS responded to
a fire alarm that went off
inside the library. Officers
found no smoke and no fire
and declared it a false alarm.
Apartheid South Africa's
former leader dies at age 90
Nicknamed the 'Old
Crocodile,' Botha was
known for his temper
CAPE TOWN, South Africa
(AP) - P.W. Botha, the apartheid-
era president who led South Africa
through its worst racial violence
and deepest international isolation,
died yesterday. He was 90.
Botha died at his home on the
southern Cape coast at 8 p.m.,
according to the South African
Press Association. "Botha died at
home, peacefully," Capt. Frikkie
Lucas was quoted as saying.
The African National Congress
issued a statement expressing con-
dolences and wishing his family
"strength and comfort at this dif-
Nicknamed the "Old Crocodile"
for his feared temper and some-
times ruthless manner, Botha
served as head of the white racist
government from 1978 to 1989.
Throughout his leadership he
resisted mounting pressure to
free South Africa's most famous
political prisoner, Nelson Mandela.
Mandela was released by Botha's
successor, F.W. de Klerk in1990.
Botha liked to depict himself as
the first South African leader to
pursue race reform, but he tena-
ciously defended the framework of
apartheid, sharply restricting, the
activities of black political organi-
zations and detaining more than
Through a series of liberaliz-
ing moves, Botha sought support
among the Asian and mixed-race
communities by creating separate
parliamentary chambers. He lifted
restrictions on interracial sex and
marriage. He met with Mandela
duringhis last year as president.
But after each step forward, there
was a backlash, resulting inthe 1986
state of emergency declaration and
the worst reprisals of more than
four decades of apartheid.
Botha's intransigence on releas-
ing Mandela led the anti-apartheid
Johannesburg Daily, Business Day,
to write: "The government is now
the prisoner of its prisoner; it can-
not escape his embrace."
Within a year after Botha
stepped down, de Klerk released
Mandela after 27 years in prison
and put South Africa on the road
to its first all-race elections in 1994,
when Mandela became president.
In December 1997, Botha stub-
bornly resisted appearing before
a panel investigating apartheid-
era crimes. He risked criminal
penalties by repeatedly defying
subpoenas from the Truth and Rec-
onciliation Commission to testify
about the State Security Council
that he headed.
The council was believed to have
sanctioned the killing and torture
of anti-apartheid activists, and the
panelwanted to know what Botha's
Born Jan. 12, 1916, the son of a
farmer in the rural Orange Free
State province, Botha never served
in the military or graduated from
college. He quit university in 1935
to become a National Party orga-
During World War II, Botha
joined the Ossewabrandwag (Ox
Wagon Fire Guard), a group that
was sympathetic to the Nazis and
opposed South Africa's participa-
tion on the Allied side.
in 1948, the year the National Party
came to power and began codifying
apartheid legislation. He joined the
Cabinet in1961 and became defense
minister in 1966.
As head of the white-minor-
ity government in 1978, Botha
repeatedly stressed the paramount
importance of national security.
He charged that the anti-apartheid
struggle was a "total onslaught" on
South Africa instigated by commu-
During a series of gradual race
reforms, he told white South Afri-
cans they must "adapt or die."
A new constitution in 1983 gave
Asians and mixed-race people a
limited voice in government, but
continued to exclude blacks.
The new law also drastically
increased Botha's powers, chang-
ing his title from prime minister to
president. He declared a national
emergency in 1986 after wide-
spread violence erupted in black
areas, where anger focused on the
State security forces brutally
quelled the opposition, and one
of his former lieutenants - police
minister Adriaan Vlok - told the
Truth Commission that Botha had
personally congratulated Vlok for
successfully bombing a building
thought to harbor anti-apartheid
activists and weapons.
But in documents submitted to
the panel, Botha denied knowledge
of the killings, torture and bomb-
Botha's reprisals against the
black majority drew international
economic sanctions against South
Africa during the 1980s that con-
tributed to apartheid's fall.
In July 1989, Mandela went from
prison to Botha's official residence
for a conversation, which increased
speculation that Botha would free
Mandela recalled going into the
meeting thinking he was seeing
"the very model of the old-fash-
ioned, stiff-necked, stubborn Afri-
kaner who did not so much discuss
matters with black leaders as dic-
tate to them."
He found Botha holding out his
hand and smiling broadly "and in
fact, from that very first moment,
he completely disarmed me," Man-
dela wrote in his autobiography.
Mandela said the only tense
moment was when he asked Botha
to release all political prisoners
- including himself - uncondi-
"Mr. Botha said that he was
afraid he could not do that," Man-
The meeting was one of Botha's
last acts before he was ousted as
National Party leader by de Klerk
in September 1989.
Botha refused to attend a fare-
well banquet held in his honor
by the party he had served for
54 years. After 1990, he quit the
Botha's foremost loyalties were
to his fellow Afrikaners, yet his
moves to extend limited political
power to nonwhites prompted a
mass defection of hard-line segre-
gationists from the National Party
Beeld, an Afrikaans-language
daily that supported Botha for
many years, said, "The last image
that will linger ... is that of a blind
Samson who with his last strength
tried to overturn the pillars of his
party on himself and his own com-
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