Tell us a little about yourself.
I was born and raised in Visalia, Ca. I have been married to Paige for 30 years, and we have three children (Michael, Samantha, Ian). Michael is “special needs” as he was born with a club foot and a rare seizure disorder causing up to 100 seizures per day. I enjoy cooking and being with friends/family.
How did you come to work in the industry? How long have you been involved?
My dad was a firefighter/engineer for the Visalia Fire Department. As kids, my brothers and I couldn’t wait to visit my dad at the stations and climb all over the equipment. Just after high school, my older brother, Tim was working for Exeter District Ambulance. I was working as a pharmacy tech in the local hospital, and Tim would have to restock IV’s and meds from the pharmacy (this was years ago). I was intrigued by his descriptions of calls he responded to. I found myself in an EMT class the next semester, and the rest is history. Tim is now a battalion chief for CalFire (previously a medic for over 25 years), and my younger brother, Jerry, is an RN-MICN for Adventist Medical Center Hanford. He too was a paramedic for over 25 years with AMR and later American Ambulance Kings County.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
I enjoy helping to improve the EMS system within Tulare County. This is where I started, and I’ve had an opportunity to grow and learn how to create an EMS system in one of the poorest areas in California, if not the US. I get to meet people from all aspects of EMS, health care, FIRE, Law Enforcement, and other ancillary agencies. Working with these folks has created friendships and helped teach me about how we all work toward a common goal of helping the communities we serve.
What is your biggest professional challenge?
The biggest professional challenge is balancing work with life. EMS can consume you, your focus, and energy. It has taken years to learn how not to get caught in the EMS vortex without taking time to refresh with family/friends.
What is your typical day like?
My typical day starts the night before. I usually organize my days (weeks) by creating quick to-do lists with general reminders of what needs to be accomplished. I have learned to start earlier than others, so I’m prepared mentally and day-to-day work/projects are knocked out before meetings or unplanned events derail my plans. I like to wind down in the late afternoon by doing a workout (RIPPED/Body Combat/Extreme Interval/Body Pump). After that, I’m ready for the late evening meetings or to just go home and relax for a few hours.
How has participation in AAA membership and advocacy helped your organization?
My participation in the AAA Government Affairs Committee has allowed me to become better versed in governmental processes for EMS on a much larger platform than I have ever been in the past. Being a part of this committee has helped open my eyes to the importance for all of us to stay atop issues affecting reimbursement, regulatory policies, and establishing a voice with congressional and senatorial representatives. It has reaffirmed there are many from all sides of the political spectrum that recognize EMS as an essential service for their constituents.