Chief Encounters: David Craig

Helicopters web

David Craig, chief executive of Scotland's Charity Air Ambulance (SCAA), on the benefits of Facebook for charities and his short lived acting career

12th October 2016 by TFN 0 Comments

What is the first thing you do when you arrive at work?

Say good morning to everyone! Maybe get a chat with the paramedics, particularly if there was an emergency call-out the day/evening before, and then check emails and prepare a list of things that need to get done that day.

What makes a good day at work?

Hearing stories of people who we have airlifted and recovered and then meeting them if they come and visit us at Perth Airport. It's very humbling that some of these patients then go on to raise funds for the charity as well. Also, if the staff are happy at work then I consider that to be a good day, we can't function without motivated employees.

David Craig

David Craig

My hope is that there is progress for the next generation

How often do you socialise with colleagues outside the Christmas party?

Ironically, we've just arranged a staff lunch as it's been a while and the team have worked extremely hard as well so we're all looking forward to that.

What turns you into the office Victor Meldrew?

I'm a fairly easy going person and it would take a lot for me to become Victor. Personally, I hate being late for anything and would probably just moan at myself!

What was the last thing you did that scared you?

I don’t scare easily and can’t think of anything I have done either.

What’s your favourite book?  

I don't have a favourite book, but do enjoy reading autobiographies and for a while read a lot of John Grisham novels.

Would your 16-year-old self be impressed with where you are now?

I started working at 16 straight from school and that's probably a question for one of my first bosses, Alex Pagett, but I think he would say that youthful, cocky, Glaswegian turned out all right in the end!

If you were your boss would you like you?

I’ve had some great managers in my career and I’ve probably taken a bit from each of them to shape my style, so on the whole, probably yes.

Is Facebook your friend or your enemy?

Complete friend, particularly as National Air Ambulance Week has just ended and the amount of messages and traffic we've had on our social media platforms was very positive. Digital communication is very powerful - it's very challenging to keep on top of things but we have a good team that helps enormously.

What’s your perfect weekend?

My two children are football mad and getting the ball out and going to the local park and playing with them gives me great joy. Even at my age I still pretend to be my footballing hero and the boys have their own too – it gets very competitive! Then meeting up with friends and going for a drink and something to eat, and then if I have time a game of golf.

Are animals as important as people?

Animals provide great joy and companionship to so many people, plus in our line of work we have to be aware of animal welfare when the helicopter is landing in a field - some species will just stare at the pilot and not move at all!

Is the third sector a calling or an accident?

The third sector has a strong voice and a significant part to play in society, particularly those providing front line services that complement or enhance existing statutory provision. We work very closely with the Scottish Ambulance Service and are fully integrated into their systems and I'm sure that they would say that SCAA is a real asset to the people of Scotland.

Is this a rung on the ladder to success or your final destination?

I was ecstatic to be given the opportunity to lead this charity in the next phase of its development and to carry on the fantastic work and achievements over the last few years. I'm ambitious, as is the charity, and it's shaping up to be a good partnership, so who knows what lies ahead- but I'm enjoying being part of this organisation.

Is world peace possible?

I would like to think so, but things change so much and quickly with events around the globe and conflict appears just around the corner. My hope is that there is progress for the next generation.

Which Brian Cox?

Actor. I was once an extra in a TV programme that he was in about 20 years ago and I could see him through the window of the office location we were using, but never met him, and then my part (answering a phone in the background), ended up on the cutting floor.

David Craig is chief executive of Scotland's Charity Air Ambulance.