Is AMRM also a Maintenance Abbreviation?
Regularly we present, discuss, and brief air medical resource management (AMRM) with our teams, complete shift briefings, and conduct post-transport debriefs. But are we actively including our aviation maintenance technicians (AMTs) in the AMRM concepts and ensuring they are truly a member of our entire air medical team?
Maintenance technicians are often unsung heroes and quiet professionals within the air medical industry. If your program and base isn't already setting a best practice for maintenance personnel's involvement in AMRM, here are a few questions and suggestions that we hope provoke great discussion. Is your maintenance technician present for the morning or daily briefings, and if so, are they an active participant? Our NEMSPA members have seen their technicians present upcoming maintenance schedules and then discuss with the pilot and crew portions of an aircraft system. This system discussion involves an overview approach with potential failures, warning/caution light notifications, impacts to flight operations, and any emergency procedures.
A tenant of great resource management also includes taking care of our own, or as we like to say, watching out for each other. So when there is unscheduled maintenance or work scheduled off-hours, are you having a briefing with your maintenance team on their expectations, working conditions and environment, and expected timeframes? While keeping their environment sterile and free of distractions, are you checking in on the team periodically; if they are working alone, is someone staying nearby in case of an emergency or accident? When maintenance is complete, is everyone participating in a debrief, not just the pilot and maintainer doing a secondary check?
Our air medical industry continues to encounter personnel shortages, many of which are in the news, especially clinicians and pilots, but there is an equal or higher shortage of qualified aircraft maintainers. We believe that ensuring that AMTs are truly part of our team and are active participants in every facet of AMRM leads to the more mechanics we can satisfy, keep, and attract within our bases, programs, and companies. At your next briefing, ensure your maintenance team truly knows AMRM is an abbreviation for them!
David Miller, Treasurer
Congratulations Newest FAMPA Members
Fellow of the Air Medical Physician Association (FAMPA) was established in 2018, led by our president at the time, Dr. Brendan Berry, to honor AMPA members who have made special contributions to our association and the specialty of air medical transport medicine and critical care transport medicine.
It is my pleasure to announce the newest members of our association to achieve fellow status as approved by the AMPA Board of Trustees. These physicians have met or exceeded the requirements of participation, knowledge, and leadership as defined by our association.
Dr. Joshua Loyd joined AMPA 5 years ago and is the medical director for Novant Health Life Flight and Novant Health's Critical Care Transport Program in Charlotte, NC. Upon graduating from Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine, Josh completed an emergency medicine residency at VCU, followed by the EMS fellowship at Carolinas Medical Center, during which he received the NAEMSP/Physio-Control Fellowship Award. He is board certified in emergency medicine and emergency medical services. Josh has published on air medical transport and helicopter EMS activation. Additionally, he has presented nationally his research on the effect of physician response to the scene on EMS and serves as a reviewer for Air Medical Journal.
Dr. David Meurer joined AMPA in 2006. A devoted Gator, David graduated medical school and completed the emergency medicine residency at the University of Florida. For more than 20 years he has served as the medical director for ShandsCair Critical Care Transport Program in Gainesville, Florida, and has been a member of the emergency medicine faculty at UF since 1993. He is board certified in emergency medicine and emergency medical services. Beyond EMS, David has interests in farm emergencies, environmental emergencies, and has presented on several occasions on a wide array of topics at the Air Medical Transport Conference. Additionally, he is a co-author of the 2021 AMPA, ACEP, and NAEMSP joint position statement on Appropriate Air Medical Services Utilization and Recommendations for Integration of Air Medical Services Resources into the EMS System of Care.
Dr. William Weir joined AMPA 6 years ago. He graduated medical school at the University of Illinois College of Medicine and the emergency medicine residency at Indiana University. He is board certified in emergency medicine and emergency medical services. He has been an integral part of the AirLife Flight Program at Carle Foundation Hospital in Urban, Illinios, for the past 9 years and, for the last 4 years, has also served as the medical director for the pediatric critical care ground transport team. He has been a member of AMPA's Standards and Research Committee for the past 3 years and is a co-author of the NAEMSP position statement on prehospital mechanical ventilation.
We look forward to members joining us for the AMPA general membership meeting immediately preceding the Air Medical Physician Symposium this April in Denver, Colorado, where we will recognize these dedicated physicians as Fellows of the Air Medical Physician Association with their official fellow certificate and lapel pin.
The next fellowship applications cycle will open June 1 through August 31, and we encourage each member with a commitment for air medical transport to apply. Further details are available at https://www.ampa.org/fellowship.
Doug Swanson, President
Recap and New Year
We continue to be grateful for everyone in our profession who continues to serve our patients with professionalism, care, and grace. We thank you ASTNA members for all that you do, day in and day out.
We saw great industry events last year that continue to evolve and grow to meet the needs of our members and those of our partner organizations. CCTMC in Orange Beach was again very successful and the largest CCTMC attendance to date, not to mention the high quality and intimate education it provided. AMPA, ASTNA, and ICAPP are excited to be hosting the 2023 CCTMC in Denver, April 17-19. Denver offers such great food, nightlife, and culture that is unique among the mountains. We have incredible educational sessions already lined up and cannot wait for everyone to head to the Mile High City to enjoy all it has to offer.
In November, we experienced a new AMTC Elevated that included more partnership with the partner organizations and great things on the horizon for the industry as whole. While each organization is special and unique in its own right, there are many opportunities to work together for industry goals and all our members. ASTNA is excited for the potential opportunities arising in 2023 and all that can benefit our industry as a whole, while supporting our unique organizational needs and our members. We hope to see you all at AMTC October 23-25 in Columbus, OH.
As for ASTNA, we continue to try to meet the needs of all our members. Our international presence has grown and ASTNA has started to be accessible to countries that rely on us to guide their practice, education, and standards. ASTNA has started to enter countries such as Italy to be a better liaison for their needs and our members there. This is just the beginning, and we could not be more excited for our international members to have better access to ASTNA education, standards, and resources.
In addition to that, our biggest upcoming endeavor will take all hands-on deck from our partner organizations. While still in the preliminary stages, ASTNA is making headway to pull collaboration among all organization to create a resource to ALL medical transport staff, including pilots, mechanics, leadership, nurses, paramedics, communications specialists, respiratory therapist, doctors, etc. This resource will be an incredible asset to all for support, wellness, and mental well-being. More to come on this as we gather the foundation to create this incredible resource and bring in all players of the industry to help mold and maintain this critical need for our profession. This has been in the making for the past year and we are excited to see it gain strength and move forward.
Take the time to enjoy the blessings you have and those blessings you have allowed others to experience. Be grateful, be kind, and be present.
Kelley Holdren, President
Paying it Forward
I had the opportunity last week to watch several years of someone's hard work come to fruition as I received the excited phone call that a friend had passed his FP-C test after a year of preparation and studying. Granted, this scenario plays out dozens of times across the country every day, so you may ask why this particular case was noteworthy. It was noteworthy to me because it was a journey that started several years ago when I was able to meet this individual through a good friend. He was just out of high school and having a desire to enter the emergency services field but was struggling to find his way in. After we began talking, I was able to point him in the right direction and, using some contacts I had made over the years, he was on his way. The time I spent with him over the years was not significant in actual hours but has made a significant impact that will help direct the rest of his career.
Why did this stand out to me? Looking back at my own career, I realize I was once at that stage and found myself fortunate to have had a similar experience with an individual who became a friend and a mentor for me throughout my career, and more importantly made me ask “what have I done to pay it forward?” Each and every one of us is a leader in our world in one way or another. Whether formally or informally, we all have the ability to influence and impact our world on a daily basis. Our acts and actions are more contagious than we know. For those of us who are senior team members, our actions, attitude, and work ethics are observed by our new teammates and often become an example of what level we are expected to perform to or the acceptable organizational standards.
As a new paramedic, I threw out the all too familiar cliché “to help others” when asked why I chose the path. My naivety knew no better, and in truth I simply wanted to make a difference in the world. As I grew and matured, I began to realize that, while the core drive and purpose remained the same, my ability to accomplish it could be magnified through those I surrounded myself with. I have limited contact with my patients and on any given day my ability to affect the lives of others may be limited. However, by being a positive influence on those I come in contact with, my reach expands exponentially.
Have we taken the time to become mentors and examples to those around us? No matter if we are new in our careers or moving into leadership roles, are we taking the time to share our knowledge and experience with those coming behind us? At each level of my career, I can name 2-3 people who I looked up to, strove to be like, and who coached and pushed me to where I am now. As I transitioned into various leadership roles, I added more and more mentors to learn and grow from observing and working alongside.
What is a mentor? What qualities do mentors have, and how do we incorporate those traits and characteristics into our own individual leadership styles? You could ask a dozen people and come up with a dozen different answers. I was asked once in an interview who was the best leader I ever worked under. As I pondered the question, my answer was simple: I don't think I ever worked for a “best” leader per se, but each one I worked under possessed unique strengths and weaknesses. With each one, I did my best to incorporate the strengths, while being cognizant of the weaknesses. This philosophy would allow me to possess the best qualities of those I have studied under and, with any luck, pass the same on to those that I lead.
It doesn't matter what position we hold or how long we have been in the industry. We can all be an example and mentor to those around us, whether they have found their way in the door to their career or in need a bump in the right direction to find their door. When the day comes and we leave the industry, will we be able to say we have not only had a positive impact on the industry and others, but have we made it a better place and be able to pay forward what others have given us? As Martin Luther King stated, “Life's most persistent and urgent question is ‘what are you doing for others?’”
Cory Oaks, President
Published online: February 23, 2023
© 2023 Published by Elsevier Inc. on behalf of Air Medical Journal Associates.