Top 40 Under 40; Mark Butler

Dec. 3, 2014

Top 40 Under 40 Questions& BIO


Name:  Mark Butler

DOB:  December 19th, 1979

Mark Butler works for the Massachusetts Port Authority at Boston’s Logan International Airport.  Mark holds the certifications for Firefighter I/II, ARFF Firefighter, Fire Instructor, Fire Officer, Hazmat Technician and Paramedic.  His career began in August of 1998 when he joined the United States Air Force as a Fire Protection Apprentice.  Shortly after his discharge from the military he joined the Massachusetts Port Authority Fire Rescue Team in 2003 as a Probationary Firefighter/EMT.  After only a few years Mark was promoted to rank of Lieutenant and was assigned to the Operations Division supervising emergency responders.  Shortly thereafter, he was promoted to his current rank of Captain where he is currently assigned as the Captain/Emergency Medical Services in the Training and Career Development Division.  Some of Mark’s responsibilities as the EMS Captain include the management of a public access AED (Automatic External Defibrillator) program which includes the maintenance and inspection of over 150 AED’s as well as the coordination for training front line airport employees in CPR and the use of AED’s.  Mark is also responsible for coordinating and maintaining the continuing education training and certifications of nearly 100 EMT’s and Paramedics that serve Logan Airport.  In addition Mark works with other agencies on a daily basis such as Boston EMS/Public Health, CDC, CBP, local hospitals and the airport community to ensure a fully integrated emergency medical and public health response system.

Why did you select aviation as a career?

Growing up my father had a great influence on me and the career path I chose.  My father was drafted for the Korean War and believed everyone (if able) should serve their country.  During the Korean War he was an Aerial Photograph Interpreter and later on in his life became a Call/Volunteer Firefighter.  In my junior year of high school I entered the delayed enlistment program for the Air Force and became a military firefighter.  Not long after I was discharged from the Air Force I was offered a job as an Airport Rescue Fire Fighter with the Massachusetts Port Authority where I’ve been working since.  Looking back now I think the influences my father had on me led me into this career.

What advice from a mentor helped you the most in your career?

There are two pieces of advice that have had a lasting impact and certainly helped get me to where I am now.  The first piece of advice came from a supervisor in my early days with the Air Force when I was told “You don’t have to know all the answers, you just have to know where to find them.”  I think these are words to live by!  I certainly don’t know everything about the aviation industry or ARFF but I do know who to ask and where to find the answers if needed.  The second piece of advice came early on at Massport, as a recruit firefighter my officer told me, “If you plan on moving up the ranks everything you do or don’t do will be remembered.”  I’ve always tried to keep this in the back of my mind throughout my career.

What is the biggest challenge you see facing the aviation today?

The biggest challenge I see in aviation today is simply the unknown.  From an emergency response stand point we need to be ready every time we leave the station whether we are responding to a fire, an aircraft needing assistance, a terrorist threat or a medical emergency we need to be prepared every time we are called upon.  As a team we must prepare today for the unknown of tomorrow.

What advice would you give to others in the industry?

My advice to others would be, keep an open mind and never stop learning.  In today’s ever changing world of technology and innovations we must continue to progress and exceed the standards.  The days of doing something simply because “this is the way we’ve always done it,” is no longer practical or safe.  We must take the initiative to educate ourselves, constantly train and keep up with today’s technology.

What are three things we don’t know about you?

The first thing you don’t know about me is I love the game of hockey!  Although I never played growing up I have two beautiful kids who both play the sport and share the same enthusiasm as I do. When I’m not at work I spend a great deal of time going to the local rink helping out during practices or travelling to watch them play and cheer on their team.

The second thing you may not know about me, I have a lifelong dream of owning a house on Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire.  I have fond memories as a child of traveling to NH and staying at a friend’s house near the big lake.  As a husband and father of two now, we vacation to NH every summer and stay right on the lake, not only vacationing but building memories with my family.  Hopefully one day we will call that home.

The last thing you probably don’t know about me is my knack for organization.  Whether I’m at work or at home, everything has its place.  Each file has a label, each shelf has a purpose and everything in the garage has a “spot”.  Every morning I arrive at work and start my day off by updating and prioritizing my to-do list, a Word file that I keep on my desktop.  My goal each day is to knock off as many items as possible by prioritizing them along with the everyday tasks that need to be accomplished.  Although this sounds a little crazy it helps me stay on track and keep focused throughout the workday.