Think about any long-running, successful TV series, such as MASH, CSI, NCIS or The Walking Dead, and you’ll know that when it first aired, it had a solid cast of lead characters. They laid the foundation for the show, but as it progressed, some of the leads were phased out and new characters were brought in. Plots and storylines changed, and new characters brought a uniqueness to the shows that allowed them to remain successful.
Such is the life of the EMS Section. Thanks to the efforts of Chiefs Mary Beth Michos, Ricky Davidson, Don Hiett, Fred Thorp and Jack Krakeel, the section was formed in 1989 and the foundation was laid. A couple of years passed and enter Chiefs Gary Ludwig, David Becker, Ken Riddle and John Sinclair, new characters who replaced some of the originals but who continued to build on the foundation.
Over the years, these four became the mainstays of the section, while other board members, such as Chiefs Bruce Moeller, Bill Metcalf, Rob Brown, Dave Huisenga and Jeff Cammack, transitioned on and off the board. Some of the chiefs, such as Rob Brown, had longer tenures, while others served only one or two seasons. Still others, such as Chief Mike Metro, continue to serve on the board today.
Flash forward to 2017 and you’ll notice that while the section board looks significantly different, it’s still running now in its 28th season. Chiefs Metcalf and Sinclair had successful spinoffs, with each serving as the president of the IAFC, and Chief Ludwig is hoping for the same. And, in order to keep up with the times, the board was reorganized in 2016 not only to meet anticipated changes in the IAFC bylaws, but also to better represent the membership.
The board still has seven positions, with the chair, vice chair, secretary/treasurer and international director serving as the officers, but now the immediate past president and two at-large directors round out the board. A few earlier characters are still involved (Becker is immediate past president, Metro is an at-large director, and I continue to serve as the international director), but once again, new characters have taken over the leading roles.
The new officers are Mike McEvoy (chair), Vance Riley (vice chair) and Chad Deardorff (secretary/treasurer), while Chris Shimer serves as the other at-large director. We have a great mix of experience, geographical representation and institutional knowledge, all of which are necessary in this day and age of fire-based EMS.
As with any good series, characters will come and go, but the strength lies in the storyline. EMS gives us a great deal of material to work with, and our characters have continued to mold the ever-changing storyline. This is what has allowed us to be successful over the last 28 years.
Our challenge is to continue to find new characters who’ll keep the series successfully running. So, are you ready to step up to the show?