Have you ever been sitting around the base, the crew room, in the aircraft, or elsewhere and found yourself griping…er…constructively criticizing some aspect of your job, your industry, your workplace, etc.? Haven’t we all!
Some of you as well as dedicated Seinfeld fans may be familiar with the secular holiday of Festivus that many celebrated recently this past holiday season. One ingredient of this holiday is always the “airing of grievances”. We all do it. We wish things would be different, better, more efficient. We wish we had a more constructive way to complain or make suggestions. We all have great ideas and recommendations, but usually we don’t have any real vehicle, voice, or medium with which to get those ideas and suggestions onto a sounding board or even heard by people who can actually effect change. We don’t seem to have any voice at times. So, the complaining…er…constructive criticism stops at the base level. We continue our day-to-day routines wishing things were different.
We’ve also been taught not to complain without a viable solution or recommendation. In most cases, this is good practice. But sometimes we have an idea, an issue, a grievance without a real recommendation or solution in mind. This is OK! Not having a way to solve the issue does not de-value the issue or concern at all.
So how do we get these ideas, concerns, and grievances out into the industry? How do we make our voice heard? Well, we use a group of dedicated individuals and teams of experienced people (you all) to help us. We use people who have agreed to hear our concerns and issues, act as our voice, and actually bring them to the table for real discussion. You alone may not have a solution to your issue, but perhaps someone in the group does. Perhaps the problem has already been solved and the information just needs to be shared or disseminated. Perhaps many others within the industry are facing the same issue. Did you ever stop to think that if a majority of the industry wanted a change that it should actually be addressed appropriately? Well, it can be!
The air ambulance community is comprised of an estimated 3-4,000 pilots and many more clinicians, mechanics, communications personnel, and support staff. Believe me, there is no shortage of good ideas, opinions, complaints, and more, mostly well-founded, with significant merit floating around out there in the industry. But unfortunately, these ideas, questions, and concerns stop at the flight line, at the bases level, and sometimes on deaf ears. As a word of encouragement, they don’t have to.
The National Emergency Medical Service Pilots Association (NEMSPA) has been helping represent air ambulance pilots since 1984 and has served as a sounding board and voice for the industry on issues of safety, training, quality of life, professional education, regulatory guidance, and much more. Being a part of the association means you want to help effect change for the better. The synergistic affects of a group of professionals is much more powerful than each individual one of us acting alone or airing our grievances to just our crews and co-workers on duty.
NEMSPA has representatives that work directly with major organizations such as CAMTS, HAI, and even the FAA. We help carry the mail, so to speak, to these major decision makers that significantly influence how the industry functions. The NEMSPA board of directors, along with our committees, have two primary functions. First, we represent the air ambulance community and serve as a voice to these major organizations. Secondly, we serve as a messenger and distributor of information from these major players to the members of our community – a conduit that works both ways. We do this in several ways including education, written articles, social media, newsletters, trade show representation such as AMTC and Heli-Expo, direct communication with our members, and much more. Unfortunately, we can’t do this without the help of the community. We can’t do this without you and your active participation.
Circling back to the holiday of Festivus, many may also know that another part of the holiday is “Feats of Strength”. This is where we as a collective group, a united front, one voice of many use our synergy and make a difference together. The more we can work together and advocate for positive change and a safer, more effective, and more efficient industry, the more we can accomplish. We use our collective strengths to accomplish greater feats.
How do we get stronger, you might ask? We work together, we educate each other, we learn from each other, we support and encourage each other when things get challenging, and we apply that synergistic power in numbers to make a safer, more effective, more efficient air medical transport industry.
Do you know what the acronym “T.E.A.M” stands for? Together, Everyone Achieves More!
Are you ready to make an effective difference? Do you want your voice heard? Do you want to air grievances to a larger group that, together, can demonstrate their feats of strength? If so, we encourage you to get involved! Help NEMSPA help you help the industry.
We want to hear from you. Join NEMSPA today and become one voice of many. If you are ready to get involved and make a difference, consider joining our board of directors as well.
We are not only seeking membership to NEMSPA but also motivated and passionate individuals who are ready to effect change at a higher level and make a difference within the air medical transport industry. Visit www.NEMSPA.org to get involved. Additionally, NEMSPA will be in the Rotor Safety Zone booth 9500 at HAI’s Heli-Expo this February in Anaheim, CA. Stop by and see us at the booth! You can also follow us on social media (Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn).
-Eugene Reynolds- NEMSPA Secretary-