Getting to know Supervisor Michael LaPearl

Supervisor Michael LaPearl

April 12, 2021 | Category: News

Cetronia Ambulance Corps has four supervisors to lead two platoons. One of those supervisors is Michael LaPearl. He has made incredible strides within the organization and is our go-to for all things safety and fishing expeditions, among so many other duties that keep our “ship” running!

We did a little Q&A to find out more about Michael LaPearl …

How long have you been working at Cetronia?
I have been at this organization for 18 years. I’ll be pushing 19 years come November.

Before Cetronia, where did you go to school, and what did you study?
I went through the United States Coast Guard Basic Training with several follow-up courses including Maritime Law Enforcement, Fisheries Enforcement, EMT and Heavy Weather Coxswain at Cape Disappointment WA. After discharge, I attended Reading Hospital Paramedic Institute from 2000 – 2001.

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be a Conservation Officer.

Can you walk me through your career path from entry level position to your current position?
From Active Duty Coast Guard I went to EMT school and was an EMT onboard the CGC Adak and CG Station Manasquan Inlet. I also volunteered with the Point Pleasant Beach NJ First Aid Squad. After discharge from the Coast Guard, I started my full-time EMS career at American Medical Response (AMR) Reading Division as an EMT. I worked wheelchair transports and Basic Life Support (BLS) standbys and eventually moved up to the Advanced Life Support (ALS) trucks.

When Reading Fire took over EMS, I worked at Carpenter Technology doing security and Quick Response Services (QRS) until I completed medic school. I then applied at Cetronia Ambulance Corps and two other ALS squads to become a full-time Paramedic. The only squad that called me back was Pottsville EMS where I worked for 10 months gaining experience. After one of my preceptors left and went to Cetronia, I got a call to come in for an interview. After some time on the streets I saw an opportunity to be a bigger part of the organization and was promoted to operations supervisor. I can honestly say that 18+ years later I am still convinced I am where I am supposed to be.

What day-to-day responsibilities does your job entail?
My duties are numerous but the highlights are ensuring crews have the supplies and equipment they need; scheduling of staff; ensuring that the supervisors unit, an ALS QRS truck, is response ready; and responding on calls for assistance.

What project that you’ve worked on at Cetronia are you most proud of?
Vehicle safety initiatives as well as a lot of the safety items that are in place today were items that I had some part in recommending or implementing at Cetronia. This includes safety vests before they were required; reflective striping on the ambulances; driving safety training programs; and helping with road safety training. I also am proud to have created numerous annual deep sea fishing expeditions over the years. Our associates have helped me create so many fantastic memories and it has helped them bond through the process.

What’s really fun about your job, and what’s really challenging?
Community outreach and seeing how the community responds to us during special events has always made me feel really good. The fact of having some part in seeing associates grow and move up the ladder in emergency services also gives me great satisfaction. Some of the challenging moments are dealing with personnel issues. I always dislike having to discipline anyone, but understand that it is required at times.

How has your job here allowed you to grow personally and professionally?
Personally I feel I have become more aware of the importance of family and community. Professionally I have learned so much from so many of my coworkers and fellow responders which has made me a much more rounded paramedic and supervisor.

What might surprise people about your job, or what’s one thing people don’t know about your position?
It is very rewarding, but can be very stressful as well.

What advice would you give to a young professional searching for a job like yours?
Study hard and never stop learning. Reach for more responsibilities. Focus on your strengths, but also work hard to improve on those items that you may struggle with. You can only lead when you are also willing to listen and follow.