Mark Nellis is our new Compliance Manager. He's an avid rock-climber who loves camping, hiking and kayaking. We asked him about his first day here, his experience in EMS, and his advice on how to get started down that career path.
How did you end up at East Coast?
A referral. One of my friends told me about East Coast, so I came here.
What was your first day like?
A lot of paperwork. But overall it was great. Everyone was friendly, welcoming, and engaging. I've met some great people so far.
Is this your first time working at an EMS agency?
I’ve been doing EMS since I was 16-years-old.
How does East Coast compare to other EMS agencies?
They’re more employee-centered, they listen to feedback, and they’re growing because of the staff. They’re not acquiring contracts and figuring it out from there. They're growing with their people. Other places, you’re just an EMT doing what you’re told.
How does management judge your performance?
Every expectation is easily laid out and isn’t complicated. Anything they’ve given me so far is easily achievable. They don’t throw a ton of tasks on you so it’s not overwhelming or setting you up for failure. They want you to succeed and grow, so they give you what you can handle.
Can you describe the atmosphere and company culture at East Coast?
Everyone is excited and laughing with each other. It’s a very inclusive atmosphere compared to other corporations where you wouldn’t find that close-knit-group feel.
How is Mike Rosellini as a boss? Can you describe his leadership style?
He never says, “... because I told you so.”
His discipline is more like, “You did this, so how can I help you so this doesn't happen again?”
He’s never been the manager to come down the hall demanding. He’s always saying, “Let's do this together.”
Given your prior EMT experience, what would your advice be to someone who’s thinking about joining the field?
It’s a wonderful field to be in. You’ll meet some of the most interesting people as you take them to doctor’s appointments and home from the hospital. It’s a rewarding and fulfilling job.
What do you like to do outside of work?
I’m an avid rock climber. Anything outdoors like camping, hiking, kayaking, and I go to the beach a lot too.
What does it take to be a great EMT?
A lot of good people skills. EMS requires a great amount of hands-on tasks. You’re treating a person, not an object where you’re putting a band-aid on it and sending it on its way.
Some people are having the worst day of their life and you need to be there for them.
How do you become an EMT in Maryland? Can you walk us through that?
There’s a few different ways. You can go to your local community college and take your EMT course through them. If you’re interested in serving your community, you can join the fire service and take their EMT certification in-house through the University of Maryland. They have training centers throughout the state.
If I’m coming in for an interview at East Coast, what would your advice be?
Be open-minded and ready to learn something new. Ask questions. Most people come in, answer a few questions, and just sit there. Be engaged. Want to learn something. And ask anything you can think of.
What’s something that patients are always asking you about?
Usually it’s some sort of fear they’re trying to address or overcome because this is something they might not have done before. They’re going through a traumatic event and trying to figure out the next steps.
Whether it’s a facility or a rehabilitation service, they’ve never been there and they've only read the Google reviews. They really want to know your opinion before going somewhere.
I give them all the information and facts they need, walk them through it, and reassure them of the next stage. You can only read so much online --- so having a first-hand experience, you can give them the information they’re looking for that they might not be able to find elsewhere.
How do you define great patient care?
Having wonderful rapport. We have families that call afterwards and say how our EMTs made it so much better than they thought it would be; how scared they were at first, and how in the end they were laughing.
They started out crying before they left the hospital and ended up having a great time. Something like that always makes us feel we did a great job.
What’s the most rewarding part of the job?
Knowing that you helped someone out and made their day a little bit easier.
Anything else you’d like to add?
If it’s your first time in this business, East Coast is the best company to come to. They’re growing and looking forward to meeting new people. They’re growing the business with you. With more growth, there’s more opportunities and this is the best place to get your foot in the door.