Michael Allen

Michael Allen

Presenter

All of us as First Responders are part of a family and community greater than that of our own parents, siblings and children. Me, well I’m a 50 something year old guy who has spent close to 27 years in the world of EMS as an EMT-B, as well as time in Fire and American Red Cross Disaster Services. I am a published photographer in the sports, mountain and road bike racing industry as well a PR, event, journalism, portraiture and the niche of families with Special Needs members. I have more than 40 years volunteering and working within the Special Needs population to my name, and most proudly being the Father to my 18 year old daughter and 16 year old son. Currently I am the Safety, Emergency Management & Preparedness Specialist for a Joint Commission accredited not-for-profit behavioral health, addiction, and domestic violence services organization with a combination of 20 clinical and residential programs in Connecticut. The whole “God gives you what you can handle” thing is a bunch of hooey most days, but I must agree that being a First Responder better prepared me to handle situations and make choices in this life that many will never experience. Being a First Responder allows me to take the totality of my experiences and education that increases with each day and apply it to my professional and personal life as well as the lives of others we serve. Being a father of both a neuro-typical 18 year old daughter and a son who is non-verbal (I prefer to think of it as pre-verbal) on the Autism Spectrum has allowed me to turn many 911 calls and community interactions into moments of physical, psychological, and emotional healing for ALL involved. I have found great fulfillment in taking the opportunity to recognize “teachable moments” not only for my fellow First Responders, but the families, and the general public who are affected by trauma of many types, as well as a myriad of diagnoses, disorders, or disruptions to everyday life. This has allowed me to act as a counselor and educator especially within the Special Needs Community. I have worked with a number of families where the diagnosis of Autism is taking a beautiful family and possibly tearing them apart. Working with fathers to try and help them accept and tackle what it means to have a child with Autism, as I say, “Autism life can be infinitely more difficult, but it is exponentially more beautiful. I am grateful for my many educators, preceptors, partners, patients and their families with whom I have shared the journey as a First Responder thus far. Allowing me to learn and be part of the brotherhood, sisterhood, and far reaching family of EMS, Law Enforcement, and the Fire Service is something that I am truly grateful for. It is with humility and gratitude that I hope each of us can experience at least one teachable moment that makes us better providers, parents, siblings, friends, colleagues or community members with each interaction we share in this world.

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