COMMUNITY I SERVE
I am currently am assigned to provide coverage at stations to the Cathedral Park,St. Johns, and Linnton neighborhoods in North Portland.
I was hired as a line firefighter when I was 20 years old in October 2000 and promoted to a Fire Lieutenant nine years later. In spring 2006, I was selected to join the Special Emergency Response Team (SERT) as a paramedic. SERT team members respond to incidents involving uncooperative armed suspects (such as barricaded subjects or hostage situations). As a paramedic, I provide advanced life support for SERT team members that are in harms-way.
FIRST SHIFT MEMORY
My crew was very fresh at Station 2 and we were sent to the North Portland Bluff Fire that eventually went 5 alarms. When we arrived on-scene, people were packing their cars with valuables and fleeing, fearing all their houses were going to burn like a scene out of southern California. Eventually, we had Blackhawks above us performing water drops. I remember thinking that is one thing I never thought I would see working for a big city.
We were sent to a young boy reported to have some time of hand injury. Unfortunately, there was a language barrier and the 9-1-1 dispatcher was unable to get any further information. We found a 5 year-old boy who stuck his hand up the ice cube dispenser of the fridge that his parents believed to be inoperable. Unfortunately, the machine engaged and trapped the young boy’s hand.
The crew and I were unable to even fully open the door of the fridge to take apart the machine since his hand was through the chute and stuck towards the back. Working as a tea, we weighed all options to free his hand and manage his pain. It took 45 minutes of working to dismantling the fridge and plan "B", plan "C", etc. There was no training guide on this situation. It showed the importance of having good communication within your crew and having members with different backgrounds or skills.
FAVORITE MEAL TO COOK
Fish tacos or buffalo chicken burgers. There are a lot of other things I like to make, but they definitely don't fall into the "healthy" recipe book which has become a lot more popular.
MAKING MY WAY TO BECOME A FIREFIGHTER
I worked for the pools of a park district. I lifeguarded and taught swimming lessons including our lifeguard training programs.
Integrity. A successful firefighter wants to do their best just because and for no other reason.
During the summer, I enjoy boating or camping anywhere on the water. I live on a floating home, so mostly I enjoy any hot weather where I can relax on my deck, jump in, and swim in my backyard. In the winter time, I look forward to fishing when it's wet and golfing when it's dry (there's nobody else on the course when it's 40 degrees)!
ARRIVING ON AN EMERGENCY SCENE
I always try to make a rapid assessment of what we have and what/who we need. When you need some support, you want it quick!
ADVICE TO LIVE BY
KNOW YOUR JOB AND ORGANIZATION. That's one of my former advisors' ten rules of the fire service. You should strive to learn every aspect and be the best at your position. But not only be educated in your position, but strive to know what others are doing or things going on in your department. Knowing those things can only make you better at being a solid piece of the puzzle.