Jason Hick: AME
April 18, 2017
18 April, 2017
Meet Jason Hick, an Aircraft Maintenance Engineer (AME) working out of Ornge's 7792 Base in London, Ontario.
We spoke to Jason about his role at Ornge, how it’s evolved over time and what it’s like being an AME.
Rachel: When did you start working at Ornge?
Jason Hick: I started working with the Ontario Air Ambulance Service as an AME apprentice in 2005.
What made you decide to become an AME?
As a youth, my parents sat me down and asked me what I wanted to do following high school. I thought about all my interests and aviation was one of them. In my last year of high school I enrolled in the high school co-op program, and was placed at London Internationl Airport; I was working for a fixed-wing flight training unit and thought that it was really interesting and exciting. I decided to go the engineering route as it seemed like a challenging career choice.
Can you tell me a bit about your education and what you studied?
I went to Canadore College in North Bay, Ontario and studied as an Aircraft Maintenance Technician.
Why did you choose to work for an organization like Ornge?
The service we provide every day is something to be proud of; that was a large part of my choice. My efforts contribute to keeping the aircraft available to the people of Ontario, so it can make a positive effect on otherwise detrimental and stressful family events. I would want to work for this service no matter how big or small my role.
Can you share a bit about the team that you work with?
When I first started here in London, there were just two AMEs. The team’s been growing slowly over the years as we take on more assignments out of this location. As new AMEs join our team, the same standards and mentality are found to be common. It’s hard to ignore the impact that the air ambulance service has as a whole, and to not be motivated by that. That stimulus has us working safe and efficiently to keep this service available to our neighbours.
Is there anything that you really appreciate about your job?
Working at this organization, we have some of the best support available to us; comfortable facilities, in great communities, with all the special tooling, and modern technology.
Another thing to note is the team atmosphere. Unlike other aviation companies, we share our workplace with a variety of disciplines in aviation, and most notably in the medical sector. This collaboration is visible at the base; with exposure to different expertise, we all strive to bring this service to the patient.
So what do you do in your spare time to relax?
I have always been interested in Canadian history, local history, and military history. I always have a history book at my bedside. I’m a member of the Architectural Conservancy of Ontario – London Branch, and I’m active in advocating heritage preservation and cultural heritage retention in my community. Aside from that, I like to spend time with my friends and family.
Is there anything that people are surprised to learn about when it comes to your job?
People are surprised to learn that the aircraft, like our patients, requires an entire team to support it, and keep it healthy. A lot of people assume the helicopter lives somewhere at the hospitals, and only requires the aircrew, and fuel to carry out its mission; when in fact, there are a lot of people behind the scene working together to support a few flying machines.
Do you have any advice for future Aircraft Maintenance Engineers?
I would tell them to be open-minded, and to understand that Aircraft Maintenance is a small global industry. If you want to get the most out of the industry, you should be ready and excited to go anywhere; the world is at your doorstep.
At Ornge, our staff work every day around the clock to ensure the patients of Ontario receive the best care available. Learn more about the people behind #teamornge.