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The Calling

Why First Responders are
Inspired to Answer It

OnStar Advisors work with First Responders to save lives every day. But who are these heroes and what drives some of them to work 24-hour shifts doing some of the most dangerous — yet rewarding — jobs in the world?

Go behind the scenes and learn how firefighters work with dispatchers and OnStar as a courageous, selfless, and tactical team.

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The Rookie

CJ Waldren

There’s no such thing as a typical rookie — neither in age or background — except for a naturally courageous disposition and inherent urge to help those in need. But it also takes a heavy dose of humility. As explained by CJ Waldren, the Rookie of the firehouse, in the morning, you’re washing trucks. At lunch, you’re cooking the family meal — and it better be on the table at 12 sharp. The only way to earn the trust of an established crew is to keep your head down and work as hard you can. But it’s all worth it. Because in the end, you’re fulfilling a dream. And after that first year, no matter what happens, they’ll always have your back.

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The Driver

Ryan Gross

After OnStar pinpoints the location of the emergency, it’s up to veteran driver and fire-truck engineer Ryan Gross to get to the scene as quickly — and safely — as possible. The more information he has, the better he can do his job and save lives. While this job is Ryan’s calling, he says the keys to the truck come with great responsibility — and soon, they’ll be handed over to the woman he’s been training. Gross is two weeks away from retirement. He’s not just leaving a job — he’s leaving a family. But, he says, he’s leaving them in great hands.

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The Captain

Dan Dumas

A crew is only as good as its captain. It takes a substantial amount of time, training and trust to turn a fire station into a functioning firehouse. It starts with communication. After a call comes in from dispatch, Captain Dumas’ carefully assembled crew of dedicated firefighters and paramedics drop what they’re doing and spring into action. They place their fate in each other’s hands and sacrifice their safety for the greater good. Success comes down to three things: procedure, professionalism and personality.

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The Dispatcher

Shelly Metikosh

Whether it’s a fender bender or a more serious emergency, OnStar Advisors are often the first link in the chain of communication for first responders. They’re highly skilled, and trained in the same language and protocols as their counterpart emergency dispatchers. The information exchange that occurs between the two is vital. Both Shelly Metikosh and Sherry LeVeque have years of experience as dispatchers, with Sherry eventually transitioning into a role as OnStar’s emergency services outreach leader. As emphasized by these two veteran dispatchers, time is always of the essence, and accuracy is critical.