Broward County, FL Local 4321 member Terryson Jackson and a civilian were killed when a medical transport helicopter en route to an emergency call crashed into a small apartment complex in Pompano Beach. Local 4321 members Daron Roche and Mikael Chaguaceda who were on board the helicopter survived and are listed in fair condition at a local hospital.
“Brother Jackson was the kind of fire fighter/paramedic you could always depend on to have your back, a real fire fighters’ fireman,” said 12th District Vice President Walt Dix. “I consider it a privilege to have known him while I was on the job. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and my fellow Local 4321 members who worked closely with him.”
Jackson, Roche, and Chaguaceda were dispatched on the morning of Aug. 28 to a medical call regarding a traffic accident in North Lauderdale. Not long after takeoff, the pilot attempted to return to Pompano Beach Airpark due to mechanical issues.
But before the helicopter could get back to the airpark, the tail rotor fell off, causing the helicopter to go down. It burst into flames when it landed on the apartment complex.
Roche and Chaguaceda were injured but able to crawl out onto the roof to safety. Tragically, Jackson succumbed to his injuries on the scene. An adult female living in the apartment complex also died.
“The members of Local 4321 are saddened by the sudden loss of Brother Jackson. He was a well-respected flight paramedic known for his compassion for the community and dedication to the job,” said Local 4321 President Steve Bertuccio. “He will be missed by all who knew him well.”
Jackson was a 19-year veteran fire fighter/paramedic and will be posthumously promoted to battalion chief. He is survived by his son, Jaylen, and daughter Makayla.
“Brother Jackson devoted his life to saving others,” said General President Edward Kelly. “Inspired by his parents, who were both nurses, he answered the call to serve and did so with honor and dedication for nearly 20 years. Our thoughts and prayers are with Brother Jackson’s friends and family, and all our Local 4321 brothers and sisters.”
In a February 2020 video, Jackson talked poignantly about the role the job played in his life.
“This career really chose me,” he said. “As a BSO flight medic, I get to impact my community each and every day. If someone is in the back of my unit, they are having possibly one of the worst days of their life. And it just helps me sleep better at night knowing that during that time, I could just be there for them. Sometimes all they need is for me to hold their hand and let them know they are in good hands, and everything is going to be OK.”
The National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration are both investigating the incident.