In what has turned out to be an exceptionally timely decision, The Colony Fire Department added a new position to its leadership team at the start of the year: Chief of Emergency Medical Services.
Longtime Battalion Chief Jason Bonds assumed that role and hit the ground running. Here’s a little Q&A with Chief Bonds:
- How long have you been with TCFD? 19 years with TCFD and 24 years in our American Fire Service.
- How long have you been the Chief of Emergency Medical Services? Three months as of April 7, 2020.
- How did creation of this position come about? The City of The Colony continues to grow, so does our call volume in response to medical calls. To accommodate the growth, TCFD has added an additional ambulance to our fleet and with that additional ambulance comes additional paramedics and responsibilities. The DFW Metroplex continues to update and build new hospitals in the area. In addition to the growth, the technology and advances in emergency medicine is continually evolving in the industry. In order to continue to be the best EMS provider in the area, we at TCFD felt this job was essential to the growth and demands of emergency medical services in the city.
- What qualifications do you have for the role? I was already the EMS coordinator for TCFD for the last five years, but was doing it while also serving as a Battalion Chief (shift commander) for the department. I am now able to dedicate my time directly to our city’s Emergency Medical System program. I have devoted the last 24 years of my profession to the people we serve and to the department that provides that service. To help me with this position, I obtained an Associate of Applied Science Fire Officer Degree. In addition, I hold a Firefighter Master Certification with the Texas Commission on Fire Commission and Paramedic Certification with the Texas Department of State Health Services. I also currently serve as a Deputy Team Commander with the United States National Disaster Medical System, Disaster Medical Assistance Team. But sometimes it not about all the certifications. It’s about building trust within the organization, building relationships, establishing a work ethic and upholding our core values of Duty, Respect and Integrity.
- What are your primary responsibilities? For the position of Fire Division Chief of Emergency Medical Services and Occupational Survivability, my primary responsibilities include managing the department’s Emergency Medical Services Operations and managing all responsibilities within our medical control system and the Texas Department of State Health Services. I am a liaison between TCFD and the Denton County Health Department, Texas Department of State Health Services, U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, North Central Texas Trauma Regional Advisory Council and all area hospitals. I manage the department’s EMS Operations-related budget and supervise the procurement of EMS apparatus and equipment. A component of this position, “Occupational Survivability,” includes managing the department’s personal protective equipment (PPE) program as it relates to all aspects of the operational health and survivability on the department’s emergency incidents. I also coordinate and supervise the department’s occupations health and cancer prevention programs, i.e.; risk assessments, vaccinations, booster shots, medical screenings, cancer preventions and health of our first responders.
- How has COVID-19 changed what you do? The COVID-19 response has only changed the additional hours required to navigate the responses, in addition to doing much of that work from home. This pandemic is a 24-hour, 7-days a week response and monitoring. Ultimately, I want our personnel to be cared for, supported, and able to provide our residents the top-notch care they deserve while doing so protected. I continue to do so while also managing my assigned responsibilities during this trying time as everyone does. I am proud to work for an organization that values the level of service we provide to our residents and the steps we take to ensure their safety and well-being. As a result of COVID-19, I do anticipate a change across the healthcare industry of medical care and how it’s provided, and I look forward to championing the cause.
- Can you share a few details from your personal life? Of everything that I have done in my career, it would not be possible without the support of my wife, Adrienne, and my two sons, Caden and Cameron. I have been married for 26 years and my sons are 20 and 17. Caden is a sophomore at the Colorado School of Mines in Golden, Colo., and Cameron is a junior at McKinney North High School.