|In December 1991 Bruce Nelson and Tom D'Ancona lost their lives in a tragic
boating incident on Long Island Sound off the shores of East Lyme Connecticut.
Due to the time of year, many marine rescue resources were unavailable to local
law enforcement and emergency services. In March of 1992, the family and friends
of these two men formed The Nelson-D'Ancona Foundation which focused on
providing funding for an emergency service helicopter that could be utilized by
any local or state agency for any life threatening emergency, at no cost. This
was the beginning of EAGLE 1, Connecticut's first Police Rescue Helicopter
EAGLE 1, a UH-1H, Huey, was obtained from the U.S. Army at no cost to the
foundation. All members of the aircrew who staffed the 24 Hr. a day operations
were volunteers. Pilots were from the Old Saybrook, Madsion and Fairfield Police
Departments and rescue personnel were from various emergency services units
around the state.
All funding was provided by the foundation to maintain EAGLE 1 in an
operational status. The support services required to maintain the helicopter
such as maintenance, fuel and hanger were all provided by private and corporate
sponsors. This unique life saving resource was at no cost to any agency who
utilized EAGLE 1.
After the retirement of the pilots from the Old Saybrook and
Madison Police Departments, Eagle One was moved to Fairfield. The helicopter
spent several months being serviced before being placed back into service. The
costs for the service was paid for by the private Nelson/D'Ancona Foundation.