What Was Alexander Graham Bell’s Greatest Invention? Why Does it Matter for Flight Request Stimulation?

You are right – the Bell Curve! Sure the telephone was a nice invention – but really – where would we be had he not invented his curve?

Truly in the analytics dark!

Why is the Bell Curve so important as it relates to stimulating flight requests?

Who Flies Where and Why 

As you factor, categorize and prioritize all of the individuals in your market space that can be making or influencing flight requests – it’s a sure thing that they will place you and your service someplace on the Bell Curve and it’s important to know where.

As it relates to how they perceive your program’s performance.

  • A certain number will perceive you as “High Performers.” That’s nice – but –  why is this?
  • Do they really know if you are or you are not?
  • How can they accurately measure your performance?
  • A certain number will perceive you as “Average Performers” – why is this?
  • Why don’t they perceive you as “High Performers”?
  • What criteria are they using?
  • Now here’s one that really can be frustrating – some will perceive you as “Low Performers.”
  • Compared to whom? Other Critical Medical Aviation providers?
  • Or compared to the “Best in Class” in a different industry? Like APPLE or TESLA?
  • Or compared to their own organization which may be a leading university medical center or a relentlessly innovative Fire/EMS Department?

You Must Develop and Provide MissionMetrics; And be Sure You Know Which Matter Most to Specific Requestors

One of the core seven modules of the Flight Request Stimulator Level I course teaches MissionMetrics. These are four distinct performance metrics categories that we have learned over time (more than 18 years and counting) are crucial to customers making flight requests. When you provide customers with these – and you know which matter most to specific customers – not only can they evaluate you to more accurately determine where you fit along the Bell Curve of performance – the four MissionMetrics also enable customers to compare you to other Critical Medical Aviation providers!


Take a moment now. Think about and write down one performance metric that you know matters above all others  for three very different individual customers. In this use case – individual people – not organizations.

  • What is the first metric that comes to mind for each?
  • Do you know why this matters for each one? (Hope so.)

Customers Must be Able to Define and Defend Making the Flight Request to You; A True Story 

In 1990 when I was an EMS/Trauma Coordinator at a small community hospital I had the option to make flight requests to up to six Critical Medical Aviation providers. Each with bases about 50 to 75 miles away. Some in Pittsburgh, PA. Some in Cleveland, OH. And another in Erie, PA. How was I to determine which were High Performers, Average Performers or Low Performers? Most important of all – why did it matter that I knew this?

In one instance – we had an acute trauma patient that met all the criteria for transport to a Trauma Center via rotorcraft. I made the decision – the patient was transported and the outcomes were optimal. End of story right? I wish.

That evening I was confronted by an irate Orthopedic Surgeon  upset with me about the transport provider I had requested. He had “his favorite” and I did not request it. He demanded to know why. When I asked him why he wanted the other service requested – he had no specific criteria and turned it back on me to justify my flight request decision. At the time – I had nothing specific either. I could not DEFINE & DEFEND MY DECISION!

Even though the service I selected had been extremely helpful in Outreach Education – and time after time I was impressed with how well they interfaced with our hospital’s Trauma Response Team and how seamlessly and proficiently they managed  “my patients” when they transported out – I had nothing like MissionMetrics at the time. This would never happen again.


I began my quest to create four specific categories of MissionMetrics to compare Critical Medical Aviation providers. These are now core to the Flight Request Stimulator Program. Why? We all must remember – individuals are trusting in us – counting on us to provide “their patients” with the highest probability of a positive outcome. And too – it is our duty to provide those trusting in us – requesting us – with the comfort to sleep at night knowing – that their decision – given all the variables within their control – was the correct one.


Okay – Alexander Graham Bell did not invent the Bell Curve (I don’t think). Yes – his telephone is one of the most important inventions of all times – and often – still – the method used to make flight requests.

Remember – you must know how you are perceived in the Bell Curve categories in your market space and you must provide your customers with the means to measure you and compare you to others. Be sure you know which of the MissionMetrics matter most to each customer – and why! This is crucial. Many miss this preference alignment customization. KNOW THY CUSTOMER! 

If in fact you are THE HIGH PERFORMER. And –  you also are proficient at clarifying and communicating this. Then – for those that hold high worth in performance – YOU WILL BE THE ONE MOST OFTEN REQUESTED.  Best of all – individuals who really need you when all is on the line – will have your interventions providing them with the highest probability of a positive outcome.

If you desire to be effective in how you develop, customize and apply the four categories of MissionMetrics –  ThinkThroughTools’  Flight Request Stimulator on-line learning course can help. Please be in touch.

And – we’d sure like to know what you are doing to stimulate flight requests – so have at it with comments to share with us and your colleagues.


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This article is kindly sponsored by Jet A cologne