PARAMEDIC & JANITOR: Merging the Careers Together

PARAMEDIC & JANITOR: Merging the Careers Together

EMS - Dedicated for life
May 18-24 is Emergency Medical Services Week, the time all first responders, emergency medical technicians, paramedics, fire fighters and emergency room workers are honored. This year’s theme is “EMS: Dedicated for Life”, and never has a truer statement been said.

It’s 7 p.m. on a Sunday evening. During the past twelve and a half hours, I’ve started over 50 IV’s, performed a half dozen CPR’s, pulled injured people out of cars, been assaulted by someone high on K2 laced with PCP, been cussed out by a 6 year-old boy, and once again, an extremely fatigued paramedic limps to her car at the end of her shift. Twelve hours later, the same paramedic is meeting with various Varsity Facility Services managers to discuss the start-up details of a new customer who chose Varsity as their Dallas janitorial company. Two very different fields, some would think, but more similar than most realize.  [click here to read more about my merging careers in my bio.]

Let’s discuss the similarities of emergency medicine and building services.
SERVICE TO OTHERS: Both EMS and the janitorial field is about service. Properly cleaning a building is just as basic as breathing air, and both fields require a commitment and dedication to doing services that many others would not, or could not do.
EVERYTHING IS INFECTIOUS:  When people find out I have two simultaneous, distinct careers they don’t see how they’re related. The bottom line is that the same surfaces that have a high level of infectious bioload in the hospital are the same surfaces where pathogens are found in any commercial building!  They are on the elevator buttons, door handles, telephone receivers, and other high hand contact surfaces. So why are we supposed to clean office buildings differently than hospitals? The answer is that we shouldn’t!
COMMUNICATION IS REQUIRED:  The best patient treatment and customer service plans begin with open communication and a commitment by both parties to work towards a reasonable outcome.  Many patients aren’t truthful or open with their EMS providers, and the same can be said about some customers. Hidden information or agendas can negatively affect the outcome, so candor is required by both parties for our mutual success.
KEEPING UP WITH CHANGE:  After being in the building services industry for over 30 years and the healthcare field even longer, one fact remains constant, and that is, industries change and evolve over time. Keeping up with the changes requires time and dedication to constant learning.  In EMS, by the time my weekend shift rolls around every week, there are new street drugs to learn.  You may have Kleenex in your building, but if I have a patient on “Kleenex”, it means they have taken an overdose of methylenedioxymethamphetamine. (MDMA is also called “ecstasy”.)  Or you may have a “wild cat” outside your building, but a “Wild Cat” in the ER is someone that’s mixed methcathinone with cocaine. Possibly you are stressed to the “max”, but “Max” is y-Hydroxybutyric acid that’s dissolved in water and mixed with amphetamines. In reverse, I’ve seen crickets outside the hospital, but have you heard about the new Windsor Cricket?  Keeping abreast of change is crucial to survival in both industries.
BOTH FIELDS ARE THANKLESS AND POORLY PAID:  Every night there are countless janitors and emergency medical technicians hard at work and making barely above minimum wage. The very people we count on to keep us clean and healthy are some of the poorest paid in the United States and rarely get the recognition and respect they deserve; in fact, although a highly educated and trained paramedic, I’ve been called “the ambulance driver” many times. So why do the people engaged in either field choose to stay? The simple reason is…
IT’S A CALLING:  As the team is locking the building at night, a true source of satisfaction is received in knowing the building is clean and ready for the next day. There’s something rewarding about providing such a basic service to the best of your ability. As with EMS, we know we’re called to be with people on the worst day of their lives and have the knowledge, ability and true desire to serve others.
So the next time you see a day porter, your late night cleaning crew, or your local fire/EMS folks, take a moment to thank them for their service…their service to you! We are dedicated to serve for life.
Danny Holding Cat
This is a picture of Dannette, wearing her EMT hat, rescuing a Kitten.
When wearing her hat as Business Developer for leading Dallas janitorial service, Varsity Facility Services, she ensures the customer receives the same kind of care and service.


Dannette Heath CEH, IP, Paramedic, EVS Business Development

Dannette Young Heeth, CEH, IP, Paramedic
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!”

Medical Experience
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.

Facility Experience
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

Literary Accomplishments:
• 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)

Tagged with
National Janitorial Company Awards and Affiliations Varsity Facility Services

Contact Us
1055 South 3600 West | Salt Lake City, UT 84104

Copyright© 2018 Varsity Facility Services, a KBS CompanyVarsity Facility Services Tech SupportVarsity Facility Services Samsung Support