Honoring EMS Professionals of RQI Partners
The 49th annual National EMS Week is underway! Here at RQI Partners, we are proud to work with dedicated EMS professionals who make a difference every day. The American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) and the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians (NAEMT) have organized daily themes for this year’s EMS Week.
To contribute to the ACEP and NAEMT daily themes, we wanted to highlight a few of the certified paramedics and firefighters who are now leveraging their skills and expertise to RQI Partners during EMS recognition day. Read some of their stories about how they have transitioned while continuing their commitment to helping saving more lives.
Gaines loved paramedicine and EMS for as long as he can remember. He grew up watching his father volunteer for their rural fire and EMS department and was always fascinated by the ambulance. As a high school senior, Gaines enrolled in his first EMT class at the local community college. Passing the Texas exam and graduating from high school about the same time, he was employed shortly after at Brush Country Ambulance. He later completed paramedic certification in North Carolina.
After his first child was born and a 5-year EMS career, Gaines sought a more family-friendly schedule, leaving Montgomery County Hospital District EMS and landing a role in the cardiac catheterization lab at Houston’s Memorial Hermann Hospital. Three years later, he entered the medical device industry, but has maintained paramedic certification for 26 years, volunteering with Cypress Creek EMS and Spring Fire Department.
“In 2021, I learned of an open senior impact manager position and knew it would be a great fit due to my clinical experience, strong sales experience and nearly 10-year teaching experience with the American Heart Association. My passion as a clinician is always with me and drives me in my pursuit to bring resuscitation excellence to U.S. hospitals. Regardless of how many years separate me from the lights and sirens, my heart still belongs to EMS.”
A 20-year veteran of fire and EMS, Herbert was most recently an acting lieutenant with Leland Fire/Rescue in southeastern North Carolina. While in this role, he co-created the “Firefighter Down: CPR” initiative.
“My passion — education and helping others improve their performance. As a field training officer, EMS instructor and conference speaker, I focused on resuscitation and the complexities that hinder how we prepare, equip and support individuals to successfully adopt best practices.”
This brought Herbert to RQI Partners where he currently serves as the prehospital program manager and is accountable for the development, execution and lifecycle management of the American Heart Association and Resuscitation Academy high-performance CPR programs for fire and EMS. Herbert is a two-time North Carolina Office of EMS Paramedic Competition winner and was named a “40 under 40” recipient by the Citizen CPR Foundation.
Kimble has been a field paramedic for more than 30 years and still actively works every other Saturday on the ambulance. His EMS career began in 1988 as a volunteer firefighter, followed by EMT in 1990 and paramedic two years later. Since then, he has worked at various systems, mostly in suburban or rural settings, and flew with HealthNet Aeromedical for three years.
Finding limited impact as a single provider and wanting to broaden his reach by teaching others to provide high-quality emergency care, Kimble became an instructor of all things fire and EMS, and then an American Heart Association training center coordinator at a level 1 trauma center. He transitioned to the Association’s Emergency Cardiovascular Care department, and after a 13-year run, joined RQI Partners.
“My passion has always been challenging the excepted norms and making a difference. I truly enjoy working with analytics to improve entire systems of care, and currently, have increased interest in RQI® for Teams: Prehospital and how it can help improve team resuscitation and the affective domain of our mission.”
LaChappelle became an EMT in college at the local rescue squad in 2010 and continued his career working at the local hospital emergency department and suburban EMS system. He earned his paramedic certification in 2016 and graduate degree in disaster medicine and management.
LaChappelle previously served as a captain and training lieutenant and currently practices as a paramedic part-time while also deploying with a federal disaster team, North Carolina 1 Disaster Medical Assistance Team (NC1-DMAT). Deployments include national security events, hurricanes and several COVID missions.
“I work in customer success for RQI Partners’ Prehospital Team and came to the company to help accelerate the transformation from instructor-led training to RQI. The ability to earn a certification while verifying competency more efficiently is a game changer. I believe everyone can be a “resuscitationist,” and RQI helps individuals and teams improve cardiac arrest outcomes.”
As a young boy, Smith aspired to become a firefighter. His dream was reignited while working as a youth counselor in 1997, upon learning the Columbus (Ohio) Division of Fire was recruiting. Two years later, he was hired, and shortly after, obtained firefighting and EMT credentials. In 2002, Smith completed paramedic certification.
After 11 years, Smith transitioned from his fire and EMS career, launching a safety training company in India in 2010. Four years later, he returned to the U.S. and landed a role at the American Heart Association where he was responsible for growing programs to support stroke and cardiac patients and nurturing collaboration with healthcare organizations. In 2019, Smith arrived at RQI Partners and currently leads a nine-person team that supports new sales.
“I am living my best life! For the last 24 years, I have had the privilege to help further develop and expand systems of care to ensure everyday people get the best possible care. My journey — what an incredible ride it has been! I have met and worked with so many amazing and inspirational individuals who have helped fuel my strong conviction to be a patient advocate.”
Travis started in EMS in 2016 as a volunteer EMT and was active on the bike team and dive team and spent time as a training lieutenant. Over the years, she continued her education in emergency medical response, completing her advanced EMT certification and then paramedic. Travis worked part-time as a paramedic for nearly one year before being hired as a full-time lieutenant paramedic. During this transition, her agency implemented RQI.
“As you can imagine, I have seen a lot of cardiac arrests and a lot of CPR performed. Unfortunately, it was not always quality CPR. And it wasn’t the providers’ fault. The idea of training every two years on something so critical never made sense to me. When RQI was introduced, there was an agency-wide shift in both CPR quality and understanding the importance of maintaining competence in those skills. Being able to help other agencies with this critical practice is what brought me to RQI Partners.”