Emergency Management Big and Small

Hall at MMA Table Top Exercise

Jonathan Hall, Brimfield Massachusetts, started working as a medical officer on the T.S. Kennedy 6 years ago after being asked to sail by his good friend, Jeff Cukor, Academy physician.

 

“I have been on 5 sea terms cruises, traveling to places where I would have never visited. I work alongside the other medical officers as a Paramedic providing care to the cadets and crew,” Hall noted. “In my other life (when I am not working on the ship) I am a paramedic in my hometown of Brimfield, Massachusetts. I am also in charge of EMS operations at Six Flags New England and work for the Federal government on a Disaster medical team, which deploys to large scale events such as hurricanes, floods, 9/11 disaster and the Haiti earthquake. I have my Masters degree in Emergency Management and I am responsible for the emergency planning and response at a large theme park with as many as 25,000 guests per day,” he continued.

Hall does not deal with just large emergencies.  None is too big OR too small!  “In 2011 a tornado hit our town. Many lost their homes and/or possessions. After the tornado passed, I went right to work on the ambulance helping out our neighbors and community. Twenty-four hours after the storm, a worker brought in a ten day old kitten he had found in tree debris. I couldn't take the cat since my house was a mess so I turned it over to the Animal Rescue League of Boston. Once things were back together I was able to adopt the little kitten - who I had named Toto the day he was found,” Hall recounted.  But that wasn’t the end of that rescue story.

“I decided to do something to support the Animal Rescue League and wrote a children's book called Toto the Tornado Kitten. I thought it would be a silly little project, but to date it has raised over $60,000 for animal shelters as well as hundreds of pounds of pet supplies. Toto (and I) have traveled to over 250 different venues including libraries, schools, nursing homes, and weather forecasters’ conferences to share his special "tail".  Sharing Toto’s story has been fun and a great way to help my community as it rebuilt after the tornado. I still continue to take Toto with me most days when I’m working and traveling around. He loves to get out and visit and makes quite an impression everywhere he goes,” Hall concluded.

This “tail” spotlights Emergency Management in a whole new light.  There is a helping hero for every emergency.