There’s so much noise out in the world, with stories that don’t bring joy or peace. They just take space, bring along negativity, and really serve no one. Then there are stories that do the exact opposite. Like the story of Jeff Schemansky, a firefighter and paramedic at the Birmingham Fire Department. Jeff spent several years creating a free app called Emergency Medical Form to help make the world a safer place.
The call to be become a firefighter came knocking on Jeff’s door in 2005 when the house he grew up in caught on fire. Thankfully no one was hurt and the fire department was able to put the fire out in time to prevent it from spreading. However, there was a lot of smoke and water damage. A fire restoration company called Ricketts restoration fixed up and restored his house.
“During the process, I would try and help out with what I could,” Jeff said.
After the house was restored and move in ready, the owner of Ricketts restoration offered Jeff a job to work with him and the company. While working, Jeff wanted to instead of fixing up the houses, put the fires out.
“I remember thinking to myself in high school what an awesome job a firefighter would be,” he said. “I looked into becoming a firefighter and the best chances were also to become an EMT or Paramedic.”
With the support of his parents who helped him pay for the fire academy and his training as an EMT to paramedic, Jeff was able to work on the side with Ricketts restoration while going to school. He went to Macomb Community College and obtained his EMT and then the Macomb Fire Academy for his firefighter 1 and 2 certificates. He continued from there into the Medstar Paramedic Program and obtained his NREMT and paramedic license. After that, he had numerous opportunities to work in the fire service and medical field – from working for Universal Macomb Ambulance to working with nurses and doctors at Crittenton Hospital in the ER as an emergency department technician.
“After years of following my passion, I was offered a job as a professional firefighter for the City of Birmingham,” he said. “Throughout the process I leaned to always follow your passion and do what you believe in. I’m thankful for the learning experiences and inspiration from the people I have had the pleasure of working with along the way.”
One of his passions creating a free app called Emergency Medical Form. During every emergency medical call, first responders need in-depth information regarding medical history, medications, allergies, and contact data. Understanding the real-world challenges this presents for first responders, Jeff realized that there had to be a better way to get life-saving information from patients. The idea was simple – provide an easy way for people to fill out this vital information well in advance and allow first responders easy access through an app.
Jeff points out that when you or a loved one needs emergency medical treatment, time is of the essence. There’s a reason ambulances and fire trucks have the right to stop traffic and go through red lights. Unfortunately, no matter how quickly first responders get to the scene they are always slowed down by one process: upon arrival they must first spend critical time asking very basic questions about personal information and medical history in order to administer the correct treatment.
In certain cases, this information is difficult to attain. What if you hit your head and can’t remember your name or medications? What if you’re having a heart attack or stroke and physically can’t answer? What if you don’t speak English or have a severe allergy? The list of “What if” scenarios go on and on.
But what if your EMT knew your name, current medications, and important medical history before they arrived on the scene? Instead of wasting precious moments trying to recall your personal information, medications, and past medical issues they can be administering treatment at life-saving speed. That’s the goal of Emergency Medical Form: to prepare first responders with the critical information needed to treat a patient before they arrive on the scene.
“When seconds can literally be the difference between life and death, every one counts,” said Jeff. “We’re not just saving time with the Emergency Medical Form. We’re saving lives.”
Seeing his passion and his dedication, I asked Jeff what it means for him to be a firefighter/paramedic. He said, “It means to try your best and do all that you can, not just for yourself but others. It means you get to ride in a fire truck and work with some of the most amazing people in the world. There’s a saying in the fire service and it goes like ‘Living the dream’ and that’s what it is a service to the community. It’s more than just a job, it’s who we are.”
To sign up for Emergency Medical Form (it’s incredibly simple), visit https://www.emergencymedicalform.com/
and check out and like their Facebook page Emergency Medical Form