9/11 – The Eternal Impact on Lives
It was a clear, cool 64° in Dallas the morning of 9/11, an unusually low temperature for September in the deep South. Firefighters at fire houses and private EMS paramedics were washing and restocking their trucks, hoping for a slow day with few calls and emergency rooms across the country were dealing with everyday medical issues.
At 7:46 Central Daylight Time, lives were changed forever. Joe Huffman, a Texas licensed paramedic and owner of Dallas Ambulance was watching television when the 2nd plane struck the South Tower at 8:03 CDT. Watching the newscasts in helpless horror, when the Pentagon was hit at 8:37 CDT, Joe swung into action. With his extensive EMS and emergency management experience, Joe called Dallas Fire and Rescue and spoke with an EMS captain. He asked if the private EMS sector should be ready to mobilize should an attack occur in US lower states. Joe volunteered to take the task of identifying the resources, both in equipment and personnel, of all private ambulance services in the Dallas area. Joe states, “Each company, no matter how competitive, gave me honest and complete answers. Within 20 minutes I called Dallas Fire and Rescue with a report of all additional resources that would be available in the event of an attack locally.”
On the west coast, paramedic and emergency management officer Wayne Edgin’s department began deploying EMS units through Los Angeles to be on active standby in case of an attack. This same behind-the-scene EMS activity was played out throughout the United States.
Hospitals around the country alerted their emergency room personnel to be ready for mass casualties.
Inside the World Trade Center complex, American Building Maintenance workers were busy with their daily cleaning tasks. Seventeen of them were killed in the attack.
Included in the 400+ emergency responders who lost their lives on September 11, 2001, FDNY had 2 firefighter/paramedics killed and 65 injured. Unpaid volunteer firefighters had the largest EMS loss of 32 killed and 51 injured.
Throughout emergency response providers and private sectors, ordinary people going about their daily work on that Tuesday, were caught within the event that changes our lives forever. Never in our current history was America more united and patriotic. May we never forget those that lost their lives and the emergency responders that rushed in to save lives, but lost their own.
(Actual names used by permission)
Varsity Facility Services/Southwest Division
Regional Business Development
During the late 1970’s, Dannette was working in an Arlington, Texas hospital where the Environmental Services Department was outsourced to a janitorial vendor. She became interested in the training and processes required to keep the hospital properly cleaned. On her breaks, she would hang out in the EVS manager’s office to learn everything she could. Several years later, Dannette started a janitorial service, and with her medical background, began seeing ALL buildings as infectious as hospitals. Later in life she married a Flight/Critical Care Paramedic that inspired her to fulfill her dream of being a paramedic as well. She completed EMT-Basic training in 2008, joined MedicOne ambulance company (formerly MedCare), completed paramedic school and licensure in 2010, began the paramedic/RN bridge program, and eventually wound up as a trauma paramedic in a busy ER on the weekends.
In addition to her weekend work as a paramedic, she is involved in business development during the week with the best janitorial service in the world….Varsity Facility Services. Her life is full and busy!
Since starting with Varsity Facility Services in January 2013, doing Regional Business Development for Texas and Arizona, Dannette has already had great success. With her medical background, she was instrumental in obtaining the DaVita Dialysis business (63 locations in Houston); and Mountain Park Health Centers (4 locations) in Arizona.She also played a key role in bringing Varsity’s industry-leading services to Prosperity Bank (Houston); and most recently, State Farm regional offices in Phoenix. She concentrates on locating Fortune 500 companies, medical facilities, universities and national companies that have multiple locations throughout the country who need the level of service that only Varsity is able to provide. She believes in meeting prospective customers face-to-face, and spends at least 60% of her week “in the field” meeting new people and spreading the good news about Varsity to companies that have never heard of us. Her motto is, “The harder I work, the luckier I get!”
In addition to working with Varsity, Dannette is currently working in the medical field as a trauma paramedic on the weekends at Dallas Regional Medical Center Emergency Department.She has also been an American Red Cross (Dallas Chapter) volunteer since 2007 and is on two of their teams: their Medical Disaster Team and their Disaster Action Team for fires/floods for which she is the Team Leader.She worked as a MedicOne Medical Response paramedic for 4 years.She has also taught infection control to nurses at the Texas Hospital Association; hasbeen a speaker at TORCH (Texas Organization of Rural and Community Hospitals); and served on the Public Health Board, City of Grand Prairie from 2010-2012.
As well as her impressive medical experience, Dannette has extensive experience in Facility Management and Janitorial.Before joining Varsity Facility Services, Dannette owned numerous janitorial companies. She has also served as Executive Vice President at AHI Facility Services; and as Director of Medical Treatment Facilities at Aztec Facility Services. She served on the BSCAI Board of Directors from 1955-1998; served on the Proctor & Gamble Advisory Board of Directors from 1995-1998; and was a speaker for Sales & Marketing at the 2002 & 2003 ISSA Conventions.
• University of Texas at Arlington
• Southern Methodist University
• National College of Technical Instruction (Paramedic)
• DCCCD nursing (Phi Theta Kappa)
Other experience and certifications:
• Texas State Paramedic, National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians – Paramedic (NREMT-P)
• Infection Preventionist (IP)
• IICRC carpet cleaning
• FEMA disaster paramedic certified
• Wildlands Firefighter
• Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS)
• CPR instructor
• Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC)
• International Association of Women in Fire & Emergency Services, 16 Springs Fire Department (New Mexico).
• Disaster Action Team Leader – American Red Cross
• Certified Executive Housekeeper (CEH)
Awards / Honors:
• Won Dallas 100, Inc. 1994 for being one of the fastest growing companies in Dallas.
• 1995 Greater Dallas Chamber of Commerce Enterprise of the Year winner
• Published over 50 articles with SERVICES magazine and CONTRACTING PROFITS
• Former Columnist for Grand Prairie Chamber of Commerce, “Who’s Who in Grand Prairie”.
Dannette’s hobbies include playing the classical piano since the age of 3, playing pipe organ, writing hymns and she is currently working on 2 books: From Acne to Estrogen, and Crazy Stories from the ER.
Latest posts by Dannette Heath CEH, IP, Paramedic, EVS Business Development (see all)
- Behind the Scenes: EVS Unsung Heroes - September 12, 2016
- 9-11, The Impact on Emergency Medical Services (EMS) - September 11, 2016
- Norovirus – The Gift That Keeps on Giving … until it’s stopped! - May 9, 2016