Alumni Profiles

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William Chapman
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 the only full time University of Arizona staff member who has held a position within the organization. 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 worked to ensure that UEMS was ready for major events and critical emergencies.

In 2009, William took a position with The University of Arizona Police Department. He remains there today, working as a Communications Supervisor. He also works part-time for the Sierra Vista Fire and Medical Services as an EMT, and has previously served with American Medical Response. In his free time, he enjoys serving as an Arizona Ranger. William says that his time with UEMS helped shape his leadership style and abilities today. Coming into UEMS and being able to train and mentor students just starting out in the EMS field and having the opportunity to  watch them grow into highly capable first-responders was one of the highlights of his career.
Jeren Figueroa

Jeren graduated from the University of Arizona in 2017 with a Bachelor’s in Care, Health, and Society and a Minor in Classics. Jeren’s UAEMS career began his freshman year of 2013 to Junior year of 2016. During that time, he worked as an EMT, Supervisor and Captain of Training.

 

Jeren says that valuable lessons learned during his time with UAEMS have helped him in obtaining a position as Support Coordinator with the State of Arizona and will forever assist him in his future endeavors. He’s learned patience, awareness, humility and the perseverance to adapt and see obstacles as mere speedbumps rather than walls. He is in pursuit of joining law enforcement while still young and eventually obtaining his MBA to help oversee the administrative side of the medical field.

 
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Jessica Powers

Jessica became an EMT the summer of 2013 just before her senior year at U of A. She worked as a responder for a year and then was promoted to a field supervisor during her gap year before PA school. In 2014 she was given the award for EMS Provider of the Year, which to this day is one of her proudest accomplishments. She then attended PA school at Midwestern University.

 

She felt that her training helped immensely during PA school. While other students were hung up on basic skills like taking blood pressure and doing physical exams, because of UEMS she had already mastered these and was able to give more attention to other subjects. Jessica says that her time in UEMS gave her the skills needed to become successful in her current career as an Emergency Medicine Physician Assistant. She learned not only the basics of medicine and first aid but also how to make important decisions quickly. Learning how to deal with high stress situations has been an invaluable skill that has allowed her to have more confidence in her job.

 

Jessica graduated from PA school in 2017 and then attended a 6-month Emergency Medicine Internship at Boswell Medical Center in Phoenix. She says she has always wanted to move back to Tucson and so following her internship she accepted a job with Sound Physicians. She is now working as a PA in the emergency departments at St. Joe’s and St. Mary’s in Tucson. She’s a year out from graduation and is continuing to learn and develop herself as an EMPA. She hopes to eventually get her CAQ certification in Emergency Medicine.

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Jennifer Butler

Jennifer Butler worked with University Emergency Medical Services from 2012-2015 as a first responder, EMT, and Personnel Officer. She graduated summa cum laude from the University of Arizona in 2015 with a BS in Physiology then opted to continue her education by going to medical school. She is currently finishing her last year of medical school at the University of Colorado and applying for a residency in Emergency Medicine.

Her time in UEMS introduced her to the specialty she loves and provided invaluable experience in patient care; that experience helped to make the transition in medical school much easier. She hopes to continue to be involved in pre-hospital care by helping train EMS providers.

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Austin Spalla

Austin Spalla graduated from the University of Arizona in 2017 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Health. Austin was with UAEMS from 2013-2014 and held the positions of EMT, Supervisor and Captain of Training. UAEMS gave Austin the critical thinking and leadership skills to thrive in public safety and the health care field. Austin continues to stay close to his medical training roots by teaching combat first aid and CPR to recruits at the academy.

 

In 2015 Austin took a break from school to attend police academy. Austin then began working for the University of Arizona Police Dept. where he became a motorcycle officer. He then left to join a larger department in Southern Arizona where he hopes to become a motorcycle officer and hostage negotiator.

Advice to Current Members:
 

William Chapman

"Always remember the human element in each call. We are privileged to be the ones that others trust to call in the most terrible moments of their worst days. Be worthy of that trust and always do what's right."

To new supervisors he would say "Cherish the time you have in that driver seat, because as long as you are in that position, you can make a difference. Not only in the lives of your patients, but also in your crews'. Watch out for them. Teach them. Lead them."

 

Jeren Figueroa

“During when I was a Captain, I realized what it takes be in leadership and being a public servant overall. Researching and reading a variety of articles, books and listening to those around me. I’ve learned many lessons that could benefit the current responders in UAEMS. Plan for the best, be prepared for the worst. Your initial reaction is usually the wrong reaction. Finally, if you don’t sacrifice for what you want, then what you want becomes the sacrifice.”

 

Jessica Powers

“UEMS not only gave me the confidence and skills to pursue my goals but it also fueled my love for emergency medicine and I will be forever thankful for the time I spent with the organization.”

 

Jennifer Butler

“1) Make the most out of this opportunity because it can be a great stepping stone no matter what your career goals are, and 2) In emergency situations you will always fall to the level of your training so take continuing education seriously as it’s the safest place to make mistakes.”

 

Austin Spalla

“Train like you play. When a situation becomes crazy and your own life or someone else’s is in your hands, a solid training foundation will get you through. Also, don’t forget to treat your patients as people, not just another call.”