Chris Walley is a Remote Paramedic and was nominated by QHSE Coordinator, Jason Willingham. Chris is being recognized for customer recognition, excellent performance, quality of work and living the SMS mission. Jason stated, “Chris recently joined the SMS family and has become a beneficial asset to the team. Due to his previous experience, Chris was assigned to a Grand Bahamas. The project entails providing medical support for restoration crews working to restore destroyed infrastructure from Hurricane Dorian. Chris functions as a lead paramedic ensuring that the field infirmary and patients get the attention they deserve. He spends his days maintaining a smooth running patient care clinic, assessing and treating patients, attending multi-agency operations meetings. Most days are 8-20 hours; however, Chirs’s critical thinking abilities never falter.”
Safety Management Systems Medical Director, Dr. Donald Thibodaux recently observed Chris’s efforts. He stated, “Chris has worked extremely hard to provide a remote field infirmary that will provide quality care to the patients, responders, and local natives. I am proud of Chris, especially since he has just begun as an SMS remote paramedic. I am blessed to be his medical director. Our clients, Equinor, Hornbeck Offshore, and ES&H have commented on the outstanding performance Josh has provided to their companies and the oil cleanup responders.”
Chris comes to Safety Management Systems with many years of EMS, firefighting, and LEO experience. Previously, Chris worked as an EMT, paramedic, firefighter, LEO in various paid and volunteer positions in his home state of Mississippi. On his days off, Chris enjoys spending time with his wife Misti and their three children.
Fantastic work, Chris. Thank you for all that you do!
We spoke with Chris to see what a day in his life looks like.
AA: Describe a typical day at work.
CW: A typical workday starts with coffee. I’m assigned to the Bahamas project and that in its self is a challenge due to the location. During the day I attend several meetings and provide patient care at the clinic. My number one priority is to provide the best patient care that I can to each patient that steps foot into the clinic.
AA: What was the best vacation you have ever taken?
CW: I normally take a yearly beach vacation with my family. But honestly, as long as the family is together, we have a great time no matter where we are.
AA: Describe yourself in one sentence.
CW: I am humble and always willing to learn more each day.
AA: What is your favorite thing about your job?
CW: The education that’s provided and the continued support you get from your direct Supervisor, Physician, and Educator. I have some of the best providers at your fingertips.
AA: What food could you live on for a month?
CW: Salad as long as I have all the fixings.
AA: Do you have a side hustle, hobby or volunteer group that you’re involved in outside of work? What else do you spend your time doing?
CW: I work part-time on an ambulance but my main hustle is doing the daddy thing. Daddy hustle takes 99% of my time while I’m home.
AA: How do you stay motivated at work?
CW: Knowing that at the end of my hitch I’m able to return home to my family.
AA: What has been the most fulfilling moment in your career so far?
CW: On July 31, 2013, I was working on the ambulance when a call came across the radio that we all dread! One of my coworkers had been struck by a vehicle and severely injured. My partner and I were the first ones to arrive at her side. Her partner was already providing aid but he was also in shock after watching his best friend being struck and unresponsive. I had some of the best angles at my side during the incident. All of my training and experience came back and I was able to provide care until she arrived at the Level 1 trauma center where the best in the state was waiting for her. Several months later I was able to visit her. She sat up on the edge of the bed, gave me a hug and cried on my shoulder as she thanked me for saving her life.
AA: Who would play you in a movie?
CW: I would hope that my son would play me in a movie. I hope that I have impacted his life so far, he is proud of the man I’ve become and would want to reveal that.
AA: Tell us about a moment that changed your life.
CW: As stated previously, the July 31, 2013 incident will never leave my mind. I look at every scene different now and make sure the ambulance is placed in the best position possible for our protection. I want to return home each day and will do what it takes to keep myself protected.
AA: What would be your advice for future [safety professionals]?
CW: Keep a log of each shift/call that you run, never stop asking for assistance in making yourself better, and never stop learning!
Under stress, you will only fall to your highest level of training, so never stop training.
AA: What is your favorite activity outside of work?
CW: I enjoy hunting and spending time with my family.
AA: Name one book that inspired you professionally.
CW: Leadership isn’t for Cowards by Mike Staver
AA: Which talent or superpower would you most like to have and why?
CW: The ability to speak all languages, including sign language so I can help people no matter what’s going on.
AA: What was the best advice you were ever given?
CW: Treat people like they are family. You don’t know everyone but everyone knows someone.
AA: Do you have a bucket list? What are the top 3 things on it?
CW: I don’t really have a bucket list but there are a few things I want to do.
1 – Go to Tahiti for a vacation with my wife
2 – Take a once in a lifetime hunt
3 – Skydive
AA: Do you have any pets? What are their names?
CW: I have two dogs, a cat, and a ferret.
Dogs – Kimber and Nala
Cat – Smoke
Ferret – Tonto
AA: A penguin walks through the door right now wearing a sombrero. What does he say and why is he here?
CW: It’s Taco Tuesday! Where are the Margaritas?