Employee Spotlight: Jonny Long
Position: Operations Manager
Division: Hot Springs, AR
Jonny is an Operations Manager for LifeNet in Hot Springs, Arkansas who has worked for our company since 2008. His start in emergency medical services (EMS), however, came through a desire to volunteer in his hometown.
“The small town I live in had been donated an ambulance. The officials there were offering to pay for EMT training in return for two years of volunteer service. I thought, ‘Why not?’ It turned out to be the most rewarding work I have ever done,” Jonny said, as he recalled his start in EMS.
EMS is a second career for Jonny, and it is one he finds very gratifying.
“I had worked in electronics for 25 years and always felt like I was wasting time fixing things that would break again. This is so different. Bringing some measure of peace and comfort to someone’s medical nightmare gives me the feeling of having a lasting, positive, impact on my community,” he said.
One of the things Jonny enjoys about working in EMS is the realization that he helps alleviate pain, suffering, and worry.
“I enjoy the pay. Not the dollars involved, though there are opportunities to make them. I mean the pay you get every shift in the faces of those you help,” he said. “Smiling at a young mother holding her toddler with a fish hook stuck in his mouth. Letting her take a breath and know it will all be ok is the kind of thing that moves me on to the next call.”
He also recognizes that since no call is the same, sometimes you have to relish knowing that while you cannot save every patient, you can positively impact every family.
“Make no mistake, Forrest Gump’s mother was right. EMS is like a box of chocolates. In those times that the outcome was decided for us despite all we could do, I look at what comfort and compassion we gave to those family and friends who were left,” Jonny said.
Freedom is the word he uses to describe one the thing he enjoys about working at LifeNet.
“Our medical director treats us as medics. He allows us to make wise decisions, justify what we do, and own it. If you truly want the opportunity to work as a medic, Lifenet is the place to be,” he said, adding, “We’ve been trained, and LifeNet is going to try to help you grow.”
Jonny also enjoys the camaraderie within the Hot Springs Division at LifeNet and the teamwork it takes to “roll into unimaginable scenes and attempt to clear them with a 10-minute goal.”
“Some people build buildings, some build companies. We try daily to put hell back in its place, and that sets our profession apart,” he said.
For others considering a career in EMS, Jonny offers this advice: “You have to be a people person. If you are, you will find this to be a very rewarding field. If not, you won’t be here long.”
When he is not at work, Jonny enjoys competition shooting. When he has the time, he tries to compete weekly in events at both the local and national levels.