2014-2015 Leadership Team

Executive Leadership

Matthew Darrow - Chief and Executive Director

Matt was awarded by peers and College of Medicine faculty the prestigious Physiology Wildcat Award from The University of Arizona College of Medicine which is presented to a graduating senior who has overcome significant obstacles or hardships on the road to a successful graduation. 

In addition to academics, he was an instrumental member in the establishment of The University Emergency Medical Services (UEMS). As a founding Chief of Training he has set forth all training standard operating procedures and implemented various EMS training models for the organizations responders. Matt currently holds the position of Chief and Executive Director of UEMS. Being in these leadership roles he has gained valuable experience in managing public health situations among the University’s community and has contributed many real world experiences to the organization’s responders including his experience providing aide during the mists of Hurricane Katrina.

Zachary Saxman - Assistant Chief

Originally from Northern Arizona, Zach came to the University of Arizona in August of 2010. He is currently a Molecular and Cellular Biology (BS) and Physiology (BHS) major and plans to pursue a career in medicine while going through the Air Force Health Professions program. He joined University EMS in January of 2012 as a First Responder and successfully completed his Arizona State and National EMT training in May of 2012. In February of 2013 he was named Captain of Fleet Services and served in that position until May of 2014 when he was promoted to Deputy Chief of EMS Operations. In the Spring of 2015, Zach was promoted to his current position as Assistant Chief. He is looking forward to serving the community and the  organization in the years to come.

Joseph Menke - Former Chief and Current Executive Advisor

Joey is a 2014 graduate of the University of Arizona with a BS degree in Public Health – Occupational Health & Safety.  He has been an EMT since spring of 2010 after obtaining his certification his senior year of high school.  Joey became involved with University Emergency Medical Services in the fall of 2011.  He has filled the role of various positions in the organization, each with growing responsibility, from Captain of Personnel to Deputy Chief of Personnel, Assistant Chief of UEMS, and Executive Chief of UEMS.  Joey served as the Executive Chief of UEMS until January 2015 when he was offered a full time position with Southwest Ambulance. Joey is currently serving as UEMS' Executive Adviser, where he provides guidance and council to the Executive Leadership team. 


William Chapman - Training and Preparedness Specialist

William is a current staff member at The University of Arizona and has been involved in Public Safety his entire career. He obtained a Bachelor of Science in Public Administration from The University of Arizona’s School of Government and Public Policy in 2013 and has been with UEMS since its inception in the fall of 2011. He was promoted to Captain and assigned to the Training Section in June of 2014. In the Spring of 2015, William was assigned to the Training and Preparedness Specialist position, where he serves to ensure UEMS is ready for major events and critical care emergencies.

William started his career in 2006 while serving with the Ash Fork and Juniper Woods Fire Departments in Northern Arizona. In 2008 he was tasked with organizing an All Hazards Community Response Team consisting of members from three regional fire departments in Northern Arizona. He was assigned as the Operations Section Chief for the Team. 

In 2009, William took a position with The University of Arizona Police Department. He remains there today, working as a Communications Supervisor. In his free time, he enjoys serving as a Master Sergeant with the Arizona Rangers - Tucson Company.

Nicholas Wright - Captain of Personnel

Nick left Phoenix to pursue a BS in Physiology at the University of Arizona in 2011 with the intention of going to medical school. He joined University EMS a year later as a first responder, eventually getting his EMT-B certification in the summer of 2013 at Phoenix Community College. Nick was promoted to Captain of Personnel in the spring of 2014. His hobbies include playing video games, working on computers, and playing guitar and bass. Nick spends his summers in Phoenix, volunteering for Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center and Hospice of the Valley.

Jeren Figueroa - Captain of Training

Born and raised on the Hopi Reservation in Northern Arizona, Jeren came to The University of Arizona in the Fall of 2013. He is pursuing a Bachelor in Public Health with the intention of going to medical school to begin a career in Emergency Medicine. In his senior year of high school, Jeren obtained his Arizona and national EMT certification. Jeren joined UEMS his freshman year and was promoted to Field Supervisor in the Fall of 2014.
His hobbies includes running and reading medical articles, the majority of which is on Tactical Medicine. He is a member of the Hopi Tribe and his clan is Snake and Sand. Jeren served as a Field Supervisor until he was promoted to the rank of Captain near the end of the 2015 Spring Semester.

Logan Ternes - Captain of Fleet Services

Logan is currently a Junior at UofA pursuing his bachelor’s degree in Physiology with the intent of going to medical school thereafter. He has been an EMT since 2013 and soon joined UEMS following his certification. After being a general member for some time, he was promoted to Captain of Fleet Services. Logan is in charge of all UEMS inventory, response vehicles, and response stations that the crews use on a daily basis. He looks forward to helping the campus community and the next steps to come from the organization.

Joel Slayton - Captain of Auxiliary Support

Joel left his home state of New Jersey to obtain a BS in Physiology from the University of Arizona in 2011. His career in EMS started at 16, where he was an EMT at Twin W First Aid Squad in West Windsor, New Jersey. During that time he also volunteered at the West Windsor Volunteer Fire Department. Since then he joined University EMS during his freshman year at the U of A. After being promoted to supervisor in 2013, Joel was named Captain of Auxiliary Support in June of 2014. Joel looks forward to serving the University of Arizona and the surrounding community in the coming year.


Heather McHugh - CQI Officer

Heather became a certified EMT her senior year of high school. She came to the University of Arizona to pursue a BS in Physiology. She joined University EMS her freshman year, September 2012, as an EMT. Heather was promoted to the Continuous Quality Improvement and Infection Control Officer position in fall 2014. Her hobbies include hiking, camping, horseback riding, and playing with her dogs back home in Surprise, Arizona. She spends her summers at home in Surprise and traveling to visit family in Nevada. 

Jennifer Evans - Personnel Officer

Jen is a senior studying physiology. She has been committed to volunteering for many years and was pleased to combine this with her passion for medicine when she joined University EMS in the fall of 2012 as a first responder. Jen became certified as an EMT in the summer of 2013 and returned to UEMS in this new capacity. Since winter of 2013, Jen has been the Assistant Scheduling Manager for University EMS. Outside of the organization Jen has put in over 250 hours shadowing emergency physicians and designed and executed a research project while she was interning at a healthcare facility in Israel. She is happy to have this opportunity to serve her community and is committed to giving the highest quality of care.

Philip Davia - Training Officer

Philip transferred to the University of Arizona after receiving an Associate of Science at Glendale Community College, Glendale, Arizona where he was awarded academic and athletic scholarships; competed in Cross Country and Track & Field. During his residence at the university, Philip has been pursuing a dual degree in Physiology and Molecular & Cellular Biology with minors in both Mathematics and Psychology, which will be completed as of this coming May. Following graduation he is planning on expanding his research and clinical experience with the ultimate goal of being accepted into a Physician Assistant program. Philip joined University EMS as an EMT in Fall 2013 semester and has since been promoted to Supervisor and Field Training Officer. In addition, Philip is an Eagle Scout of America and a previous Young Ambassador for the City of Peoria. In his free time, Philip is a Telemetry technician at Cornerstone Hospital SEAZ, shadowing research in a Clinical Neuropsychology Laboratory at the university and enjoys playing ultimate Frisbee with his friends.

Taylor Marques - Training Officer

Taylor is a Junior at the University of Arizona pursuing a degree in Care, Health and Society.  Originally from Rhode Island, he has called Tucson home for most of his life.  Taylor became an EMT in 2012 with the hopes to join a fire department but plans to finish his degree before starting a career in the fire service.  He has been with UEMS since September 2014 and accepted promotion to Field Training Officer and Supervisor in April 2015.  He looks forward to helping UEMS grow as a national standard for collegiate emergency medical services.


Alexander Nguyen - Training Officer


Alex is a graduate student studying Biomedical Sciences at the University of Arizona. He graduated from the University of Arizona with a Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences in Physiology in 2012, minoring in Psychology and Chemistry.  Originally wanting to become a medical researcher, he worked in various clinical research centers in the University of Arizona.  However, many personal experiences helped him develop an interest in the healthcare profession.  He received his license as a clinical laboratory assistant in 2010 from Pima Medical Institute and completed his training in Carondelet St. Joseph’s Hospital in Tucson, Arizona, and then became an EMT in 2013 in Tucson, AZ.  Alex has volunteered and worked at various local hospitals and private practices in the city of Tucson.  He also teaches compression-only CPR in the State of Arizona with the UA’s Sarver Heart Center.  Alex has been a member since Fall 2013 and was promoted to training officer in Spring 2015.   He helps prepare the EMTs and First Responders in BLS and First Aid skills through intensive drills and lectures.  Alex’s hobbies include weightlifting, writing, and cooking.  He is currently applying to medical schools, and hopes to become a trauma surgeon.  He hopes that, through his past and current experiences, he will continue a lifelong tradition of compassion, service, and learning.

Erik Arbit - Training Officer

Erik is from Phoenix, Arizona and transferred to the University of Arizona as a sophomore in August 2014. At this time he joined the University of Arizona as an EMT. Prior to joining UEMS, Erik was a Cadet with the Phoenix Fire Department and has been an EMT since 2013. His goal is to become an Emergency Room Physician and is majoring in Physiology. His hobbies include mountain biking, riding dirt bikes, and snowboarding. 

Former 2014-2015 Leadership

Austin Spalla - Former Captain of Training

Austin is a senior studying public health at the UofA and has been with UEMS for the past year. Along with his work as captain with UEMS, he also reserves at Sonoita Elgin Fire Department and works as a Firefighter at a local race track for the last 2 years. He has a long history of public safety in his family and has left UEMS to begin a career as a police officer with The University of Arizona Police Department.

Stephen Karp - Former Captain of Training

Stephen is currently studying as a graduate student at the University of Arizona in Public Health and possesses Bachelor degrees in Physiology and Psychology with minors in Biology, Chemistry, and Business Administration. Stephen works in the departments of Neurology at UAMC as a clinical assistant and Emergency Medicine at TMC as a scribe and is currently applying to medical school with the intention of practicing for the United States Air Force. Stephen has been a member of University EMS since fall of 2011 and was promoted to Captain of Training in the Spring of 2013.