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511 news saved couple from plane crash recalls “miracle” save
- Mar 08, 2018 -

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As a first responder, Capt. Meffert said it’s rare to see a victim that you help save. However, the Pisano’s were a different story. 

“I was off-duty so that changed things a little bit. When we’re on duty, we don’t always have the privileges or the rights to contact 

or follow-up with a patient to see what their outcome was.” Capt. Meffert was able to reach out because a family member and 

friend of the Pisano’s contacted him. Within the first week, he was meeting them at the hospital. Frank was in the ICU and Janan 

had just been released from the ICU into a general ward. They had both broken their lower backs in the crash. The incident 

formed an unbreakable bond between Capt. Meffert and the Pisano’s. “I’m friends with them now. We meet every other week, we 

go to dinner; we just had Christmas with them. So out of this whole thing we have developed a really good friendship. They’re 

wonderful people.” To this day, Frank credits Capt. Meffert’s knowledge, background and training for his ability to walk. “I had 

another good Samaritan who wanted to grab his ankles and lift him up. I said to stop because he couldn’t lift him and I dragged 

him the way I did to keep his back neutral. Even with those potential moments of people wanting to help, it could have changed 

the outcome for Frank.” For Capt. Meffert, it took several weeks for him to put aside the “what if’s” of the call.” What if I had 

been going a little bit slower or a little bit faster? It could have been a different outcome for me; I would have been a victim 

instead of being someone that was able to render aid.” Fortunately, Capt. Meffert was in the right place at the right time to help 

the Pisano’s in their time of need. “There was a much higher power that was in play. They didn’t have any burns; I’m in shorts, 

flip-flops and a T-shirt; the plane is one fire; I don’t feel the heat. Looking back, I didn’t even take in the fact that anything else 

was going to happen. I wasn’t thinking about the secondary. I was just focused on the moment. Seeing her [Janan’s] head, if she 

could be where she was, then there was a way I could get there.”