Lewis is the Disaster/Emergency Services Specialist at the Hiwassee Chapter of the American Red Cross. That is his latest venture in the emergency response and services field.
“My mother and I were involved in a car crash and had to be extricated. It was then when I realized the importance of having knowledge of being able to help people in need,” Lewis said.
In 1992, Lewis joined West Polk Fire and Rescue. He continues as a member of the department, fighting fires and responding to other area emergency events.
He also worked for the Polk County Sheriff’s Office and Benton Police Department as a law enforcement officer. Lewis has also worked for the 10th Judicial District Drug Task Force.
“After Sept. 11, I was a founding member of the Tennessee Homeland Security and deputy director of Emergency Management for Polk County,” he said.
Lewis extended his knowledge in the emergency first response field and became an emergency medical technician.
He was also a member of TN-1, the Disaster Medical Assistance Team or, D-MAT.
“D-MAT is a federal disaster unit which deploys to natural or manmade disasters to assist local responders and hospitals which are overwhelmed during disasters,” Lewis said.
During this time, Lewis also worked as a dispatcher for Bradley County 911. He taught emergency medical classes to dispatchers and answered calls from residents in need. Lewis also “re-wrote” the continuum for Emergency Medical Dispatch and tailored it for local response.
The needs of each community are different and with the new EMD which Bradley County 911 dispatchers now use, the dispatchers are better equipped to handle life-threatening emergencies over the phone until help can arrive.
After leaving Bradley County 911, he went to LifeForce Air Medical at Erlanger.
There, Lewis dispatched flight medical crews to calls within the region.
He continues as a part-time firefighter for the city of Etowah.
“My goals with the Hiwassee Chapter of the American Red Cross are to start a Disaster Assistance Team and establish a location for at least one emergency shelter in every county in my area and make sure the partnerships between the American Red Cross and all charitable organizations and emergency agencies are seamless,” Lewis said.
“This will help everyone in need in a more efficient manner during their greatest times of need.” he added.
“I am glad to be back in Bradley County working and helping,” said Lewis.