Pitching in

Sunday, October 31, 2004

CHARLESTON, S.C. -  Scott Scobey lost a key employee late July when the U.S. military called up a local reserve unit to serve in Iraq.

Taking part in that deployment is Carey Atkins, Scobey’s rehab tech at Low Country Mobility, where the two men worked as a team, providing custom rehab equipment.

“When I found out Carey had been called up, I went, ‘Oh, no.’” Scobey said. “This is going to be a challenge.”

Scobey’s challenge will be to keep the business thriving by himself for the next year so that “when Carey comes back there will be something to come back to.”

In Iraq, Specialist Atkins will serve as a crew chief aboard a Blackhawk helicopter. Thousands of miles away in Charleston, Scobey will continue with his duties of interacting with referral sources and therapists, and also take over Atkins tech duties, customizing equipment and working closely with rehab customers. Scobey does not expect business to drop off, but he’ll probably take on fewer time-consuming high-end jobs.

After learning Atkins had been called up, Scobey looked around for a temporary replacement, but could not find anyone with the necessary skills. It turns out guys like Atkins, who has worked with Scobey for two years, don’t come along every day.

“When he came to me, I said, ‘Do you think it is something you could do?’” Scobey recalled. “He said, ‘With all due respect, I work on $20 million helicopters, I think I can figure this out.’ It was pretty simple to him. He is one of those guys; he is just good at stuff like this.”