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Servant Leadership

Posted 3 years 128 days ago ago by Admin

It was April 1990 and my day one as a new helicopter mechanic for Carraway Methodist Medical Center. I was not quite thirty years old and had previously served in the US Air Force and for the helicopter maintenance contractor at Fort Rucker. My prior duty and experience were to support and defend and train but at Carraway it was helicopter emergency medical service. With no idea what was about to happen or how it would impact my life and work and even my view of life, the squelch of the radio broke the silence with” Scramble Lifesaver, Scramble Lifesaver - self-inflicted gunshot - Scramble Lifesaver.”.  The reality of the role I play in a bigger picture became much clearer that day.   The helicopter soon returned to the landing pad.  A gurney was briskly wheeled past me on the way to the emergency room.   On board was a young woman, head heavily bandaged.   I still do not know what became of her, but I know for sure I was moved with deep compassion and sorrow for someone I never met.   This was a defining moment in my life. This one event birthed in me a knowing that I should serve with purpose. My “Why” or my personal mission statement in HEMS became, “To provide a safe and legal helicopter to transport life-saving personnel to aid in the relief of the suffering of my fellow man.” My “Why” was bigger than me and it served always to remind me of my mission. When the pilot called at one in the morning or weekends during a football game, I had a better understanding that there was a need bigger than me. Do you have a personal mission statement? You may want to consider it. You may want to read the book, Start with Why by Simon Sinek.  You will probably be surprised by the things that will come to your mind and the crooked places will be made straight. My times in HEMS were some of the most challenging and rewarding of my life. Now I not only service all EMS ships but law enforcement, fire and rescue, business and personal owners as well as a first-class team of executives, technicians and administrators. If ensuring their safety and success is my mission, it will benefit me as well as all involved. As Rick Warren said in the book, The Purpose Driven Life, “It’s not about me”.   I believe we were born to serve and in utilizing service as an essential tool we will not only serve others but, in doing so, serve ourselves.  “Scramble Lifesaver”. Those words still echo in my mind and are a permanent reminder that what I do affects others.  As leaders in life, we must be about serving others and the needs of others.  Take the time to ask yourself the hard questions. It is sure to bring clarity when you know why you do what you do and bring motivation to walk the road of Servant Leadership.

About the author: Mark dedicated the majority of his career serving the helicopter EMS community from Base Mechanic to Director of Maintenance. As Vice President & General Manager of Precision Aircraft Services, Mark now serves helicopter operators from many sectors to include Air Ambulance, Law Enforcement, Private Owners, etc. When not at work, Mark can be found spending time with his family or sitting in a tree stand.