Sometimes delivering a package as quickly as possible is not simply a matter of convenience. It is a matter of life or death.
As health care supervisor for Airspace Technologies, Ryan Eick is well-acquainted with life-and-death decisions. A Life in Action Active Ambassador, Eick is responsible for helping get an organ for transplant – a kidney, a liver, or even a pancreas – across the country as fast as it can be done.
Airspace Technologies is a logistics company that specializes in critical shipments. A key feature of the firm’s service is transparency – customers can track their shipment as it travels through its journey.
“I’m the health care operations supervisor responsible for overseeing a team that ships organs for transplant, critical blood tests, and pretty much anything else health care related that we deal with,” Ryan said.
“Sometimes companies need things in a matter of hours rather than days,” Ryan said. “We’ll get contacted by an organ procurement organization who says, ‘Hey, we have a patient in San Francisco and we have a kidney in Texas that matches our patient.’ So we pick up the kidney in Texas, put it on a flight, take it to San Francisco and deliver it straight to the doctor.”
On most occasions Airspace Technologies can accomplish this feat by using commercial airliners. But if a commercial schedule doesn’t accommodate quick delivery, the company will hire a charter.
Eick is responsible for stitching the parts together to get the item where it needs to go in the least amount of time possible.
“We have approximately 150 people and a lot of independent contractors as drivers,” Eick said. “It’s a lot like Uber where they have flexible hours, but unlike Uber they’re handling precious cargo, so we have a much higher standard than Uber.”
Another part of Airspace Technologies’ service is providing parts for aircraft that are grounded because of a mechanical issue. This is called “Aircraft on Ground,” which can cost an airline thousands of dollars a minute. Airspace Technologies delivers the part, whether it’s as tiny as a lightbulb or as huge as a tire. Ryan’s job is high-pressure and high-intensity, but nonetheless, he loves it. Airspace Technologies is a relatively young company, having begun in 2016, and it values its workforce, Ryan said.
“The culture at Airspace Technologies is great,” Ryan said. “They allow me to be me and they understand that it’s such a high-stress environment that every once in a while we need to walk away and take a breath.”
The firm provides catered lunches twice a week and dinners when the schedule gets hectic, and allows time off for other activities.
This is ideal for Ryan, who is active with the Stoke for Life Foundation, which helps disabled people participate in water sports.
“We are an adaptive surfing organization that provides the ability for those in the adaptive community to get into the water safely and also, if they choose to, compete at the highest level of the sport,” said Ryan, who has been surfing since he was 15 years old.
Ryan runs water safety for the U.S. Open Adaptive Surfing Championships, the largest competition of its kind in the world, and coaches a junior surf team.
“I’m working right now with a couple athletes with Paralympic aspirations,” Ryan said. “It’s not quite a Paralympic sport yet, but when it is, we want to be ready for that.”
Ryan hails from the San Jose area, and said he “slowly migrated south” until he found Carlsbad. He enjoys the city’s wealth of outdoor opportunities, and its growing restaurant scene.
“It’s great to be able to wake up in the morning, go surf, and then go to work,” he said.
His love of Carlsbad makes him a great Active Ambassador for the city.
“I love bringing awareness to Carlsbad, what they have to offer, the community, and bringing awareness to my non-profit,” Ryan said. “I love showing people that there are a lot of good, hard-working class people who choose to live in Carlsbad because it’s great place to live.”