MONROE, CT — Monroe’s emergency medical service volunteers come from a variety of backgrounds, from their ages to their occupations. The Monroe Sun will run profiles to introduce you to a few during National EMS Week.
Monroe EMS Chief Don Smith, 59, a longtime Fairfield police officer, served 31 years rising to the rank of deputy chief before his recent retirement.
Smith has been an EMT for 37 years, including 22 years in Monroe, where he has been chief of the Monroe Volunteer Emergency Medical Services for the last 12 years.
His emergency services experience includes serving as a volunteer firefighter, a police officer, a dispatcher, an EMT and a paramedic. Smith served on the State of Connecticut EMS Advisory Board, and the CT DEMHS CT-West Incident Management Team.
Among Smith’s certifications are emergency medical technician, EMS instructor, tactical emergency medical care instructor and CPR instructor.
He holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of New Haven, a Master’s degree from Sacred Heart University, and is a graduate of the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Va.
Why did you join the MVEMS?
Smith: I moved to Monroe in 1999 and wanted to volunteer in the community I lived in.
Besides the personal reward gained by helping people in need one of the primary reasons I have continued to volunteer in Monroe is the people. The friendships and connections to other MVEMS members is something special. I also enjoy the challenges of working with all our members to continue to enhance the services Monroe EMS provides to the public.
What would you say to someone wondering whether they could be a member of the EMS?
Smith: I believe that at the heart of a community like Monroe is volunteerism. Residents stepping forward to help their neighbors and improve the community. MVEMS is comprised of people from all age groups and walks of life.
Even if someone doubts their ability to be an EMT, let me assure them that they can. There is nothing more rewarding than working with a team to save lives. This is what our volunteers do and we are looking for help in carrying out our mission of providing that quality pre-hospital emergency care.
Interested in becoming an MVEMS member? Send an email to [email protected].