By Angel MedFlight Coordinator
She’s part traveling secretary, quartermaster and troop leader. She helps keep our crews on the road fed and finds them a place to sleep. When their shift is over, she’ll get them home for a little R&R. She’s Melinda Tran, Angel MedFlight’s Logistics Manager.
Tran’s primary duty is to take care of our air ambulance flight crews when they’re on the road. Our crews consist of the pilot, co-pilot, critical care flight nurse and critical care flight paramedic. Tran says we’ll have as many as four flight crews out on the road at one time, some in other parts of the world. So that means plenty of juggling for this Arizona native.
Our crews are on seven days and off seven days and Tran says once a week each aircraft has a designated day to swap crews out. If our plane is parked in Dallas-Fort Worth, she will arrange travel home for the crew coming off a shift and for the crew coming on, she’ll get them into that locale and ready for the plane’s next transport. This could mean booking a commercial flight if the crew member lives too far from where the next mission will begin. For the crew members going home, she may end up booking separate commercial flights to Tampa, Fla., Newark, N.J., and Scottsdale, Ariz.,
Tran begins her shift by learning where all our planes will end up on that particular day. Once she has that information she books hotels and ground transportation; catering too if they have more than one flight going on. Tran works on crew swaps three days a week and spends a large part of the job coordinating with airlines, rental car companies, hotels and catering services.
Tran arrived at Angel MedFlight after a career in banking. She started as a receptionist and administrative assistant with the company but with only flight coordinators handling logistics then, she quickly learned the trade and took on the responsibilities.
She loves her job and the action that comes with it. “It’s constantly moving. I’m plugged in 24 hours but I love the people who I work with and I love the job itself,” says Tran. She admits the days can be hectic but they go by fast. “When you like something that you do it just doesn’t even make it a job.”
What skills must a logistics manager need to bring to the table? Tran says one must be a multitasker with a lot of patience and be able to prioritize.
Tran says there are many aspects to coordinating a flight for a patient and their family. And with “my little logistics, getting the team where they need to be on time to help that patient, I feel like once everything is completed, I was able to have a little hand in that.”
Another of Tran’s qualities is modesty. While she may think she has only a “little hand” in our air ambulance flights, Tran tackles huge responsibilities on a daily basis.
*Angel MedFlight currently utilizes the services of sole and exclusive FAA F.A.R. Part 135 vendors, such as AeroJet Services, LLC (License Number: J7EA116I).