Vice Chairman's Message - 3/28/17
Vice Chairman's Message - 3/28/17


Before I continue last week’s discussion on our committees, I want to take a second to put a plug in for our Critical Incident Response Program (CIRP). Last week, Secretary Treasurer Rich Zins and I attended CIRP training. The purpose of ALPA’s CIRP is to mitigate the psychological impact of an incident or accident and aid in the normal recovery from these events before harmful stress reactions affect job performance, careers, families, and health. The training was outstanding; CIRP Committee Chairman John Long did a fantastic job setting it up.

If you would like to volunteer your time to help your fellow pilots, the Pilot Assistance (PA) Committee is a great place to start. So you know, within our PA Committee chaired by Captain Lance Glidden there are five PA subcommittees—Aeromedical, Bereavement, CIRP, Human Intervention Motivation Study (HIMS), and Professional Standards, plus the Pilot Assistance Team Hotline (PATH), which is a separate committee that works alongside PA. The bottom line is that this is a group of special volunteers who live to help their fellow pilots. If you are the type who likes to pay it forward, this is a great place to start.

Another great place to start is with our Professional Standards Committee. Captain Mark Jefferson and Captain Eileen Weingram do outstanding work with pilots who get sideways with each other. Let’s face it—we don’t always get along, which is okay as long as we remain respectful and professional. Occasionally things get heated and, for whatever, reason conflict ensues and the crew just can’t get along. In these cases, we ask that you seek Mark and his team for conflict resolution rather than go the management route. Thankfully, Mark has established a reputation for taking care of these problems when they pop up. We are appreciative that management recognizes the benefit of having Mark work to keep the situation at its lowest level, and often refers the concerned pilot to Mark for action. Should you get involved in a situation where you just can’t get along with the other person, whether it be in the airplane, simulator, or with an instructor, please call Mark first and let his team help you work through it before it escalates to the point where management has to get involved. In doing so, you will get two benefits—one is staying off management’s radar and the other is talking to Mark. All I can say is that talking with Mark is an experience like no other; he is a unique individual and the perfect person for this job.

Another committee within our PA structure is HIMS. HIMS is an occupational substance abuse treatment program, specific to commercial pilots, that coordinates the identification, treatment, and return to work process for affected aviators. It is an industry-wide effort in which managers, pilots, healthcare professionals, and the FAA work together to preserve careers and enhance air safety. The HIMS program was established to provide a system whereby afflicted individuals are treated and successfully returned to the cockpit under the FAA Special Issuance Regulations. Captain Marc Grassie and his team, for the lack of a better explanation, do God’s work. Once a pilot enters the HIMS program they get 24/7/365 support for the rest of their life! You read that right, the rest of their life. Marc told me personally, that is their commitment. In his words, “We never leave their side.” Statistics indicate that someone reading this right now is in need of this program. I ask that you call Marc (817.681.4757) and get the help you and your family deserve. So far, every pilot I know of who has come forward to admit they have a problem and asked for help has been grateful in ways that I can’t describe. They got their family and life back, and what could be more important than that?

I spent 15 years in the Air National Guard. When I got out the commitments were increasing—now they are off scale. Our members of the Guard and Reserve are tasked with real-world deployments monthly to backfill our active-duty servicemen and women. These commitments never come at a good time, many being over the holiday season when FedEx is busiest. Should you have a deployment during the holidays, or any other time for that matter, that you can’t get out of, and the company is giving you a hard time, please reach out to Captain Phil Faucheux, our Military Affairs Chairman. Balancing your military obligations with your responsibility to FedEx is not always easy, we know. When you run into issues, please reach out to Phil. Phil knows the USERRA rules and will help clarify any misunderstanding between you and the company concerning your obligation to your unit. Working with Phil will make things go much smoother, so please take advantage of his experience working with the company.

Last, and certainly not least, is our Jumpseat Committee, chaired by Captain Rich Odbert. Rich knows all there is to know about jumpseats, so if you have any questions he’s your guy. However, before you email him, please go to and visit the jumpseat page, especially for instructions on using MYIDTRAVEL. Rich tells me that 99.9 percent of the commuting questions pilots ask can be answered by what is provided there. If not, the pocket calendar and/or (the ALPA National site) have many common answers. Should you experience any problems jumpseating around the system, you will even find a webform to report the details. I guarantee Rich will take care of it ASAP, and fix it if it can be fixed—he’s just that dedicated.

Fly Safe,

Captain John Cardaci
FedEx MEC Vice Chairman



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