EAU CLAIRE – When Mark Schwartz calls on local emergency services responders to talk about their training needs, they can be sure they are talking with a person who will be both helpful and sympathetic.
Schwartz, the new emergency services continuing education coordinator for Chippewa Valley Technical College is also the ambulance chief in Bloomer and has been involved in firefighting and emergency medical services since 2009. He knows the challenges local departments face, with keeping volunteers current on their training every bit as important as recruiting new members to the department.
“I have a lot of upcoming meetings with area fire and EMS departments,” Schwartz said. “I’m looking forward to working with them and learning how CVTC can help them serve their communities.”
Schwartz started in the emergency services field the same way most people working in local departments did – as a volunteer. A 2004 graduate of Bloomer High School, Schwartz worked construction jobs and for the Chippewa County Highway Department. In 2009, he took a first responders class at CVTC.
“My mom was a nurse and I’ve always been interested in medical stuff,” Schwartz said. “And out First Responders group and fire department in Bloomer was always looking for volunteers. Then I worked my way up from first responder to EMT and also firefighter.”
In 2013, Schwartz entered the two-year associate degree FireMedic program at CVTC. The city of Chippewa Falls hired him as a firefighter/paramedic, then he worked full time as a paramedic for Lakeview Medical Center in Rice Lake for five years. He also taught some classes at CVTC as an adjunct instructor.
All along, Schwartz continued to be involved with Bloomer’s emergency services team, rising to the paid part-time ambulance chief position in 2015.
In his new position with CVTC, Schwartz will be working with every fire and emergency medical services department in CVTC’s 11-county district. He will arrange for training services for each department based on their needs, a job that also involves recruitment of qualified instructors.
“From being involved with Bloomer’s departments, I found I really enjoy fire and emergency medical services, so I decided that’s what I wanted to do for a career,” Schwartz said. “This position with CVTC allows me to not only advance my career, but to help others in the field be their best.”