GERMS Director of Operations

While studying at Georgetown University, Kevin Sullivan EMS worked as part of  the Georgetown Emergency Response Medical Service (GERMS). In 2007 he ascended to the role of Director of Operations.

While with GERMS, Kevin Sullivan EMS had many duties as the Director of Operations. For instance, he:

  • directed day to day operations of EMS service for a campus with over 14,000 students
  • oversaw medical director and EMT-instructor contracts
  • supervised billing for patient transports
  • lead department directors and department operations
  • managed continuing education and certification requirements for membership
  • wrote and updated protocols and Standard Operating Procedures
  • created the organization’s promotions standardization and qualification process

Kevin Sullivan was not promoted to the role of Director of Operations overnight. Prior to that, he had answered the phone as “Kevin Sullivan, Georgetown EMS” the same way for two years. Every time the phone rang, it was someone calling for the GERMS Duty Officer and for two years, that Duty Officer was – almost continuously – Kevin Sullivan.

Working with GERMS was the formal start of the Kevin Sullivan EMS Leadership career, but it wasn’t an easy start. Before transferring to Georgetown, he had become an EMT and worked as a volunteer. As a junior at Georgetown University, he became a GERMS Executive, which made him one of the two people who lead the organization’s 100 members and related operations.

In this role Kevin Sullivan EMS worked to help transform the culture of GERMS. It was necessary for Kevin Sullivan EMS to change the culture because the social aspects had come to dominate the organization in a way that distracted from professional EMS obligations. Kevin Sullivan EMS believed that GERMS had an obligation to serve as an EMS service and was beginning to tarnish its reputation as a campus organization. As Director of Operations, Kevin Sullivan EMS realigned the organization and restored its reputation on campus and beyond.


The First Hurricane

In 1991, Hurricane Bob swept through New England. Though the hurricane left a path of destruction and devastation throughout New England, the magnitude was lost on Kevin Sullivan at the time. For the 8-year old child who would later become Kevin Sullivan EMS, it was his first bonafide, officially-recognized disaster– and he loved every minute of it.

As an adult, Kevin Sullivan EMS understood the significance about the tremendous damage caused by the storm as he read reports of houses lost, more than one million people out of power, one billion dollars in damage and 18 people dead as a result of the storm.

The Sullivan family was vacationing on Cape Cod (one of the main areas impacted by Hurricane Bob) when the storm hit, and the storm took his mother by surprise. Kevin Sullivan EMS was awoken not by the storm, but by the morning news. Since the Sullivan family was dispersed throughout the Cape (his grandparents lived in Cataumet and he had aunts and uncles who lived in Falmouth), Kevin Sullivan EMS did not evacuate. Instead, he and his family hunkered down together. Over the days that would follow, the family went exploring during the peak of the storm and Kevin’s little sister was almost blown off of a bridge. The family spent days exploring the aftermath, including houses blown off their foundations, boats in yards nowhere near the water, and two weeks without power.

Hurricane Bob was the unofficial starting point for the Kevin Sullivan EMS career, as it was his first experience on the front lines of a disaster. The years that followed would see Kevin Sullivan EMS working in Washington DC on September 11th, on the fire-due engine company (Engine 426) for a microburst in Fairfax County (Fairfax County Fire & Rescue), as the EMS Incident Commander (with Grady EMS) when a tornado struck downtown Atlanta, and in numerous other medium and large-scale events.