I am also a cub scout leader for my youngest son’s den and a new author. I wrote a children’s book to better educate kids about firefighters, EMT’s and the tools we use. The sole reason I wrote this book is that I read a news article about a little boy that died in a fire because he hid in a closet from firefighters.
Well – Professionally I am a Video Conferencing Infrastructure engineer. That is my paid job. I am also the 1st Lieutenant and an Emergency Medical Technician for the Mastic Beach Volunteer Ambulance company on Long Island, NY. I have been a volunteer with MBAC for 3 years. Prior to my time at MBAC (and when I was quite a bit younger I might add) I was a volunteer firefighter with the Hagerman and Medford Volunteer Fire Departments. It was at this time I completed the Suffolk County Basic Firefighting Essentials Course.
I would have to say my favorite part of working at MBAC is the fulfillment I get. You see – My paid job is not very fulfilling. I enjoy what I do. As a Video conferencing Engineer, I do technical support. I help people troubleshoot issues they are having with their video conferencing equipment. But let’s face it….it’s not very fulfilling work. If someone’s video device is not working, they always can make a phone call, and still get business done. So, my main drive to continue doing it is that it pays my bills and keeps my wife and kids fed.
Being a Volunteer EMT is what brings me the fulfillment. To be a part of a great group of people that volunteer their time to help their neighbors. To make a difference in someone’s life. When I go to the department, I know I will be surrounded by friends, and I will be helping my community. Sometimes we are with people at their darkest times in life, and our presence can make that time a little easier. Sometimes our interventions are what makes the difference between life and death. I don’t think you can get any more fulfilling than that. Fulfillment is definitely my favorite part of working there.
I probably will answer this question a bit differently than anyone else. Success is reaching your goals, being happy, loving yourself, loving your friends and family, trying to make a difference, teaching what you’ve learned and feeling complete. Many people may answer “success is being rich, or being the president, or being the CEO of a big company”. But that is only success to them because that is a goal they set. In my eyes, if you constantly set and reach realistic goals, help others by teaching, parenting and loving - you are already successful. Once you've got success, it doesn’t matter if you have $1.00 or $1,000, 000, 000 in your bank account, because success is not measured in dollars.
4. What have you learned over your lifetime that you'd like to share with the younger generation?
One thing I’ve learned over my lifetime is follow your heart and instinct. Always!!! If you are doubting it….don’t do it. If you think you should do it….do it. Don’t let other people make your decisions for you. Your parents already did their job raising you and now it’s time to make life your own. I look back at my life, and realize that if I didn’t listen to outside influences on certain decisions, I may have been better off. I’ve since learned that when I follow my heart and instinct, things go well, and I’m never disappointed.
My wife Shannon has had the greatest influence on me. Firstly, she has given me the most precious gift. Our beautiful children. Being a husband and father has motivated me to be more successful (by my definition) in everything I do. Shannon always encourages and stands behind me in every aspect of life. I’ve grown up a lot since we met, and I believe she has had the biggest impact on who I’ve become today, and who I still aim to be.
I’d like to think the world is a better place because of my work. I believe anyone that volunteers their time in any organization has made the world a better place. It really says something when you do a job and expect nothing in return. When you take time out of you busy life to volunteer and help, it’s simply for the love of humanity. Volunteering at a fire department, animal shelter, library, Boy / Girl scouts makes a huge difference. You may not be changing the world by yourself, but as a group – you are. And alone, you may be changing a life. Whether holding the hand and comforting a little child suffering from an asthma attack, or teaching a cub scout how to play catch you are changing that life. You may not even know it. That child may have never had her hand held, and that boy may not have a Dad to teach him baseball. Right there, you’ve made a difference. Maybe you’ve even saved the life of a parent to a child that would have become a foster child, and didn’t because of you. How’s that for making the world a better place.
As far as my legacy…..I want my children to remember that their Dad did his part to help the world. I get them involved as much as possible, in hopes that one day they will do their part and volunteer. Hopefully they will continue the tradition. I would also like my book to get in the hands of every child possible. I think it’d be pretty cool to have my kids, grandkids, and great grandkids say “my Dad, Grandpa, or Great Grandpa wrote this!!”
Well at the ambulance company, we have a lot of funny events. We often say they should do a reality show about us. As I mentioned before, we are all friends and like a big family so there is quite a bit of joking around. One of the funniest stories would have to be that of a 40 year old man that called 911 for a dog bite. Pretty serious right? Well we are activated by our dispatchers to respond for a 40 year old male with a dog bite. When we get on scene, I see a man sitting on the front porch holding a wad of paper towel to his leg. We made eye contact as I was walking up to him, and I couldn’t help but notice the worried look on his face. I thought to myself “this must be a pretty bad bite!!” As I got to the patient, I asked him what happened and he said “ two dogs were fighting and I got tangled up between them and one of them bit me”. “Ok, let’s take a look” I said. The man slowly lifted the paper towel, and I was expecting a horror show. But what do I see? Nothing. I ask him to point out the wound to me and he says “it’s right there!!” almost insinuating I was blind. Well this mark was as if the patient may have rubbed his leg against a small stick. Skin was not even broken.
At this point I’m thinking: Did a grown man call 911 for this?
At that very moment the Chief of the department pulls up, walks over to the patient and asked me how bad it was, while shining his flashlight down at the patient’s leg. I replied “see for yourself”. The chief asked the patient, “where’s the wound sir?”. He replies “What do you mean? It’s right here!!” as he is pointing to nothing. I think now is when the patient started feeling silly, and that he may have over-reacted just a bit. Needless to say our call was cancelled, the patient lived and we laughed all the way back to headquarters.
No – I think you’ve done an excellent job covering it all!!!
10. What is your favorite dinner & what do you drink with it?
Being raised in New York, I never had authentic Mexican food. Taco Bell was Mexican food to me. From age 20-32, I lived in Southern California. I would have to say my favorite food was discovered there. At first I didn’t even know how to read the menu when my friend took me to this Mexican restaurant. So he made a suggestion. A moment that has changed my culinary life forever. It was then I was introduced to the Carne Asada Burrito!!!! And what better to go with a Carne Asada burrito than an Ice cold Corona!! So there you have it.