My journey in the field of EMS began while in The Akron Fire Department’s fire academy in the winter of 2003. I had no previous education or experience in the Fire or EMS field. I entered the Fire/EMS field from the business world holding a Master’s degree in Applied Behavioral Sciences. I also had a background in working with dysfunctional youth and young adults in the psych and social fields. I had also instructed sociology at the University of Akron. I lectured on topics including, but not limited to the following: research methods, statistics, culture, socialization, social processes and structures, deviance, crime, politics & economy, terrorism, collective behaviors and education.
The Fire/EMS career was a big change for me and I accepted it; I found it to be very challenging and rewarding. Throughout the fire academy we were instructed on basic CPR and First Aid concepts. After the academy and once on company at E/M #3C, I was sent through EMT-Basic courses and was subsequently certified at this level. I was immediately sent into paramedic school as I acquired the practical experience riding a one-person combo on a fire engine and a med unit in a very busy district in Akron, OH. Upon completion of paramedic school and the National Registry I was certified as a paramedic where I continued to work medic #3 and engine #3 for 5 years.
I was sent to station #10 for dive training and then back to station #3 after 1 ½ years at station #10. I worked medic #3 for another two years. I was asked to apply for the SWAT medic program. I applied, took the tests and interviewed with the SWAT Commander and the SWAT medical control doctor as well as other higher-ranking SWAT medics and SWAT cadre members. I was accepted and was subsequently transferred to station #5 for training. I have functioned as a tactical medic for 9 years.
I was promoted to Lieutenant 2 ½ years ago and I currently work with younger crews at station #14A. I was charged with the duty of molding younger medics who have had issues with their medical education and application during emergencies. I have been successful (with the help of other team members) training and catching struggling medics up-to-speed. I wrote a training plan/program for one medic in-particular which focused on his confidence, assessment skills, knowledge-base and practical skills. The application and execution of the plan was a success and this medic was subsequently confirmed as a full-functioning medic for The Akron Fire Department.
I have lectured at various Fire/EMS company-level trainings, SWAT trainings, The Ohio State University’s Center for EMS’s (Fire and EMS conference), Summa Western Reserve Hospital, Hudson Fire/EMS center for training, The Ohio Fire Chief’s Conference in Columbus Ohio, and The Ohio Tactical Officer’s Association (OTOA) conference. I will be presenting my Explosives Lethal Trauma Triad lecture at ITLS this year in St. Louis Missouri. This same lecture will be presented by me at EMS Today: the JEMS Conference in Maryland in February. In this profession our integrity is paramount, and our values and beliefs guide our way to success. Doing the right thing, the right way even when no one is looking is what I hold dear. We adapt, and we overcome when we put on the uniform and there is no other profession like serving our communities.
I am excited to present at EMS Today: the JEMS Today Conference this coming February for many reasons. First and foremost, I am pleased to extend my knowledge, training and experiences to colleagues whom find this conference as important as I do. Secondly, I believe that this unique conference will provide the attendees and the speakers with the opportunities to network with others in this profession. Lastly, I have enjoyed presenting and teaching at the collegiate level; this conference will provide me with the best possible exposure within other professions such as the EMS community. The exposure at this conference is considered very prestigious, essentially along the same lines as speaking at an ITLS Conference. Presenting at EMS Today will undoubtedly provide me with the opportunity to advance my professional career in the field of EMS.