SUSQUEHANNA, Pennsylvania –
Editor’s Note: May 21-27 is National Emergency Medical Technician Week. This year’s theme is “Where Emergency Care Begins.” This is a part of a series of spotlights highlighting firefighter/paramedics who serve as DLA’s first responders in emergencies.
Your name: Robert Dyer
Job title and duty location: Paramedic/firefighter/hazardous materials technician for DLA Installation Management Susquehanna, Pennsylvania
What inspired you to become a firefighter/EMT/paramedic? I started when my Marine Corps unit was deployed to a wildland fire incident in Salmon Creek, Idaho. After two more months working with multiple wildland fire agencies, I made the decision to pursue this line of work after the Marine Corps.
What did you do before you got to DLA and when did you join DLA Fire and Emergency Services? After finishing my enlistment with the Marine Corps, I began my firefighter and emergency medical technician training and volunteered at the local fire and ambulance departments to build my experience. I started my federal firefighter career at the Coatesville Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Coatesville, Pennsylvania, in 2007. I transferred to DLA in January 2016 after nine years at the VA center.
Describe your typical shift in 2-3 sentences. My shift typically starts by discussing happenings during previous shifts with those going off duty. After that, I check my equipment. Throughout the day I work alongside the other personnel on duty while performing station maintenance, responding to calls and training at the gym.
Is there a moment you’ve encountered on duty that stands out? There are multiple significant calls where we have made a difference for the citizens we serve. We had patients who were in cardiac arrest who continue to live normal lives because of our actions, and we had many moments in the firehouse that stand out as well. However, the moments that stand out most are when all our families come into the firehouse during holidays and family days.
What’s the hardest part of your job and why? The time away from home is probably the most difficult part of our career. We work long hours and often miss out on special moments such as our kids’ sporting events, holidays and moments that happen at home while we are working.
What do you like most about your job and why? I enjoy working with my coworkers. They are my extended family. While on duty, we work together as a team to overcome obstacles and help people when they need it most. I love what I do and believe that I have the best job in the world.
How do you unwind after a shift? I spend time with my family, play ice hockey and golf.