By Angel MedFlight Contributor
A rare fifth-generation Arizona native who went from aquatics to air ambulances, Matthew Butler is one of Angel MedFlight’s flight paramedics. He’s long been into lifesaving, working first as a lifeguard. Now, he impacts even more lives offering critical care and comfort to the patients he helps transport.
Butler has been with the company for almost three years, coming here after working rotor wing (helicopters ) for another air ambulance service. He got his feet wet in the lifesaving business working as a lifeguard for the City of Phoenix, teaching kids to swim and serving as a dive coach.
He began his career in the healthcare industry as an emergency medical technician, getting his EMT certificate from Glendale Community College. Butler started out as an EMT Basic with a local ground ambulance company and “after I had done about everything there is to do as an EMT, I went back to school and became a paramedic.”
His career path eventually took him from rotor wing ambulance work to Angel MedFlight, transporting patients on medically configured jets. Butler says what he likes most about working at Angel MedFlight is helping people. “Any time you can get somebody home or back to the United States from vacation when they got sick…or getting them to that one hospital that’s doing groundbreaking research to cure some strange disease, it’s always rewarding and makes you want to keep doing what you’re doing.”
Butler often travels with Angel MedFlight to national conferences and trade shows. And he enjoys how many aspects of the company are represented there, for instance having people from our legal or claims departments on site to answers questions. Butler is able to make personal connections as well. “I’m not there just wearing the red flight suit and playing a role, I’m actually a member of the medical fight crew. I can tell them, ‘I’ve taken people from your hospital before. ‘ You can add that personal touch to that case manager.”
What are some of the traits of a good flight paramedic? Butler says in addition to having good medical training, one has to be personable and easygoing. He says people with a Type-B personality are best for the job. “You never know where you’re going at any minute so if you’re too uptight about it, you’re not really going to fit in.”
He says it’s best for a flight paramedic to take things as they come because, “One day you’ll be in Arizona and the next day you’ll be in Maine.” Matthew Butler, ready to fly at a moment’s notice in order to deliver Angel MedFlight’s unparalleled patient care to you or your loved one.