Local Air Evac pilot talks about his hobby turned job

Chamberlin Meek, an Air-Evac pilot in Kirksville, says his job was once just a hobby.

Chamberlin Meek, an Air-Evac pilot in Kirksville, says his job was once just a hobby.

â??The hours are great even though we have 12 hour shifts. There are days when the hours get very long because you're out flying all day. Some days you're not flying all day long, so there are rest periods and just the family environment... For me, I absolutely love it. For 10 years of doing it,â?? said Meek.

Air Evac Lifeteam, is the largest independently owned and operated membership-supported air medical service in the United States, conducting its operations through 113 mutually-supporting air medical bases across 15 states. The company has established itself as the preeminent provider of air ambulance services to communities in need of advanced emergency health care and rapid medical transport.

While there may be life or death incidents in the back of each flight, Chamberlinâ??s focus is always at the front of the aircraft.

â??In the beginning, as a new pilot when I first started 10 years ago, you feel like there's a lot of pressure on you, but the Air Evac did a great job of teaching you how to handle that pressure and how to deal with it. You have checklists for everything and protocols for everything, so everybody does their job and they do it very well and efficiently and that's what makes it quick,â?? said Meek.

His precision didnâ??t come easy, Meek says he's had a host of support to get him through.

â??My dad is the one that got me loving to fly. He took me to the airport when I was seven to see the planes land at the national airport in D.C. My wife has been a huge contributor to this. She has helped me direct my energy in the right direction,â?? said Meek.

While some may call him a hero, Meek says, â??To me, the hero is the med crew in the back because they're the ones who are able to bring a level of care that is unbelievable. I get them from point A to point B, but to me, the med crew's the one really doing the saving."