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December 15, 2020

Working tirelessly to keep first responders and the community safe

Johnson County Community College is proud of its many EMT and Paramedic program graduates employed by Johnson County MED-ACT, serving as area first responders. These local heroes have faced tough challenges this year — including the COVID-19 pandemic and a global shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) — while continuing to respond swiftly and skillfully to area medical emergencies.

Johnson County MED-ACT’s service area has over 560,000 residents in 18 cities. During “normal times,” MED-ACT responds to more than 40,000 calls a year. But due to the coronavirus, 2020 statistics will likely be much higher.

Its workforce of more than 150 employees includes 9-1-1 dispatchers, paramedics, officers, administrators and support staff.

Well-Trained to Serve and Lead

JCCC graduate Brad Mason, Deputy Chief with Johnson County MED-ACT – Emergency Medical Services, credits JCCC in preparing him for his current role.   

“Being a paramedic is absolutely essential to serve in nearly any capacity in an advanced life support emergency medical services system,” Mason said. “My education at JCCC established the foundation for me to serve in a variety of capacities in my organization.”

“The quality of education at JCCC is second to none,” he added.

Going Above and Beyond

Mason has taken on additional responsibilities during the pandemic, which include serving as Operations Section Chief of the Johnson County Emergency Operations Center (EOC).

One of the biggest obstacles he faced early on was the dangerously low levels of PPE available, not just in Johnson County but everywhere.

“The greatest challenge I faced was the acquisition and distribution of PPE for first responders, hospitals and senior living facilities countywide,” Mason said. He and his staff have been tasked with supporting about 200 organizations with PPE.

Mason takes pride in the way many different governmental departments have united in response to the coronavirus.

“One of the best things to happen during the pandemic is the system we have created to support the PPE mission,” he said. “Numerous Johnson County Government departments have come together in support of the acquisition, warehousing, data surveys and distribution of PPE.”

Departments collaborating include Emergency Management, Facilities Management, Corrections, Transit and MED-ACT. 

Risky Business

Mason praised the MED-ACT paramedics and officers as some of the best things to come out of the pandemic. “Their dedication to serve the community, their resolve and their resiliency during these challenging times is nothing short of incredible,” he said.

He explained that they respond to, treat and transport numerous patients suffering from COVID-19 infections daily. “The manner in which they go about providing care in such risky circumstances, while ensuring the safety of their patients and co-workers, is inspiring,” he said. “We love our paramedics!”