Staff Profile: NCOAE EMS Program Coordinator and Instructor Donald Burns

Office Admin

August 06, 2014

Donald Burns of NCOAE

Donald Burns of NCOAE

This time around in our continuing series of posts that reveal the people who work here at The National Center for Outdoor & Adventure Education (NCOAE), we’re pleased to introduce the guy who heads our emergency medical technician (EMT) program. Donald Burns coordinates our intensive 19-day EMT-Basic training schedule and everything else that has to do with equipping wilderness guides, outdoor educators, ambulance crew members, police officers, firemen, and even military specialists with the medical protocols required to help others in emergency medical situations.

Here’s Donald, in his own words:

NCOAE: Tell us about a time you realized you had the power to do something meaningful.

Donald: I would say my senior year in high school. We were working on an end-of-year project about what we were going to do for our career. At that time I was struggling with the idea that my basketball career was over so, I went to visit my uncle at the local fire station. After the first call I was determined to be a firefighter/ paramedic and help people during their time of need. As a result, I’m now able to help NCOAE deliver quality EMT training to an audience that’s determined to learn the same craft I fell in love with back in high school.

NCOAE: Who is your role model, and why?

Donald: To me, a role model has to demonstrate the following qualities:

  • Clear set of values
  • Passion and ability to inspire
  • Commitment to community
  • Selflessness
  • Acceptance of others
  • The ability to overcome obstacles

That being said, my role models would be my parents. They’ve stood by me during all my dreams — even they turned out to be disappointments. They are always proactive in the local VFW post, and when I was a kid they made sure that we always were able to play sports and take vacations — even if that meant them working two jobs. For that I thank them, and I am proud to have them as my role models.

NCOAE: What do you think about when you are alone on the trail?

Donald: Where am I and how to I get outta here. Just kidding! To me, that time is when I reflect on my life and think about where I want to go and how I will get there. That quiet time is my time to reflect and preplan.

NCOAE: On a scale of one to 10, how weird are you?

Donald: I will let you be the judge of this question. I am a big sport fanatic and I work three jobs. I am married and have a baby girl on the way. So how weird am I?

NCOAE: A penguin walks through the door wearing a sombrero. What does she say and why is she there?

Donald: Let’s have a cold one, amigo!

NCOAE: What would you do in the event of a Zombie apocalypse?

Donald: Drink a beer with that penguin and prepare for a fun ride.

NCOAE: What was the last costume you wore?

Donald: I believe in college I was John Cena. I even wore the spinner belt.

NCOAE: If you had a super power strength what would it be and why?

Donald: I’d have an ever-lasting memory. It seems like every year I am forgetting more and having to write down more notes to remind myself.

NCOAE: One of your favorite moments in the last year?

Donald: Finding out that I was going to be a dad.

NCOAE: What influenced your decision to work for NCOAE?

Donald: A lot of things, including the family atmosphere Zac and Celine influence.

NCOAE: What makes you most excited?

Donald: In October I will be able to hold my baby girl and be mesmerized by her beauty.

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