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Book details
  • SubGenre:Personal Memoirs
  • Language:English
  • Pages:240
  • Format:Paperback
  • Paperback ISBN:9780692830512

Max Impact

A Story of Survival

by Jonathan Godfrey and MJ Brickey

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"Max Impact: A Story of Survival" by Jonathan Godfrey and MJ Brickey

The impact of the 2005 LifeEvac 2 crash into the ice-cold January waters of the Potomac River took two souls but spared one — shattering not only a helicopter but lives into intricate pieces.

Sole survivor Jonathan Godfrey knows the fragments can't be forced back as they were, but he has spent more than a decade picking them up again, arranging them, and presses them into place within the pages of his book to make a grand mosaic that readers can appreciate.

This one crash made powerful waves and evoked such ripples from its maximum point of impact that it refaced our banks and redefined our shorelines where we all sat comfortably thinking we couldn’t feel the effects, but have been affected, and will continue to be shaped in ways not one of us imagined.

For more about "Max Impact: A Story of Survival," to read related news, and view related photos and media, visit


"Max Impact: A Story of Survival" is the true novel about Jonathan Godfrey who awoke submerged in 38-degree water, strapped to his seat, at the bottom of the Potomac River after surviving one of U.S. history's most notable fatal helicopter crashes. It was January 10, 2005, at approximately 11:13 p.m., flight nurse Jonathan Godfrey became the sole survivor of the LifeEvac 2 helicopter crash that plummeted from 200 feet, with a maximum impact from the force of speeds in the excess of 140 miles per hour into the ice-cold waters of the Potomac River. The deadly crash triggered a full-scale rescue response and panic in the world's most restricted airspace -- Washington, D.C. With some good ole fashioned "cowboy-ass shit," a series of coincidences, multiple equipment and communication failures, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia emergency responders worked together to save Godfrey's life and recover his lost comrades.Read the first-hand accounts of Jonathan Godfrey and the people who rescued and cared for him.The crash resulted in the loss of pilot Joseph Schaffer and paramedic Nicole Kielar, but Godfrey made it his life's mission to ensure their lives weren't lost in vain. Godfrey climbed back into the helicopter a year after the crash returning to his life-saving flight community. After more than 11 years of hard work, dire hardships, divorce, raw-world survival, and absolute resilience, Godfrey continues saving lives not only from a helicopter but also with his hard-hitting public speaking presentation "Max Impact: A Story of Survival."

About the author

Jonathan Godfrey slammed into the icy waters of the Potomac River the night of January 10, 2005, with an impact propelling waves of change in the medical transport industry and ripples that will continue to shape safety culture for years to come.

Godfrey became a well-known advocate for safety after surviving a fatal helicopter crash that claimed the lives of paramedic Nikki Kielar and pilot Joe Schaffer.

Godfrey continues his work as a critical-care transport nurse, and safety coordinator at Children's National Health System in Washington, D.C. For more than 11 years, his presentation “Max Impact: A Story of Survival,” has highlighted safety culture, crash prevention and survivability touching on AMRM and other crucial education keeping air medical professionals’ perspectives fresh and hearts vigilant.

Godfrey served as Vision Zero Chairman for six years, serves as project manager for the National EMS Memorial Service, reviews content for the Air Medical Journal, and proposes safety improvements to CAMTS that have become a part of the organization's standards for accreditation.

Godfrey is a working partner of Protean — the software company that developed the Vision Zero Award-winning a crowdsourced landing zone database — pioneering a new way of sharing landing zone information for helicopter operations. His efforts have afforded him honors receiving the Jim Charlson Award, AAMS Presidents Award, and the Vision Zero Award.

Godfrey co-authored "Max Impact: A Story of Survival" with his life-partner National and AP Award-winning columnist and investigative journalist MJ Brickey.

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