Fire Velo Wellness & Safety Liaison

I am so excited to join Fire Velo as the Wellness/Safety Liaison!  Let me start off by giving you some of my background… I am a Georgia girl who came to California as a traveling nurse and landed at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center where I worked for 10 years in the Intensive Care Unit – Emergency Room (ICU/ER).  I earned a Master’s of Science Degree from UCLA School of Nursing in 1994 and landed my dream job as an EMS Educator/Field Nurse for the Los Angeles County Fire Department in 2001.  I love teaching firefighters, y’all absolutely crack me up!  My role there began to shift a great deal when I began to respond to the hospitals anytime one of my firefighters was transported to an emergency room and I recognized that there was an urgent need to train the medical staff on the health hazards and exposures that are unique to your occupation.

I love research and I reviewed everything I could on Cancer, Sudden Cardiac Arrests, Reactive Airway Disease, Rhabdomyolysis, Heat Injuries, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) … the list goes on as you know… and in 2008 I put together a traveling roadshow called ‘Firestorm – The Health Hazards of Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) Firefighting’.   It took off and I soon found myself presenting at both EMS and fire conferences as well as medical centers and fire departments all throughout California & Arizona.

In 2014 I was honored to receive the Wildfire EMS Award from the National Wildlife Coordinating Group (NWCG) and LA County’s Nurse of the Year from the Board of Supervisors.  Unfortunately, I had to retire in 2019 but my passion about firefighter health and safety remains a priority and I am looking forward to contributing to this great organization.

Please feel free to contact me if you have ideas for the Safety/Wellness section or even you just want to say hello!

All the Best!

Nurse Mary Valance