It has been a busy week with ten different presentations starting with the Maine Homeland Security Conference on Tuesday and ending with a presentation at Southwest Minnesota State University on Saturday. I had a blast with my keynote Staying Alive – How to Act Fast and Survive Deadly Encounters and four breakout sessions for the Maine Emergency Management Agency in beautiful Augusta, Maine, and had many thought provoking questions from graduate students during my final presentation of the week this Saturday.
I truly feel blessed to be alive, lucky to be able to do what I love each and every day, and am honored to be able to meet so many amazing people in my travels. I feel fortunate to be able to see so much of our amazing country and to periodically have the chance to see other parts of the world. On this trip, I had the opportunity to work once again with Pat Hinckley from the Maine Department of Education and Dwane Hubert with the Maine Emergency Management Agency. Dr. Tanya McCoss-Yerigan, author of the recently released book No Ordinary Son A Journey Through Death and Living Again, and her husband Tim were kind enough to allow me to stay at their beautiful home while I was presenting five more times in Minnesota on Friday and Saturday.
A number of my colleagues have been on the road as well. My son Chris just returned from Ketchikan, Alaska after spending almost three straight months on the road. He left for another two weeks of school security assessments in Washington D.C. this weekend and has two more trips to Alaska next month. Dr. Shepherd just returned from six weeks working in Florida after spending two weeks in Nigeria and is preparing for a trip to the Dominican Republic.
People often ask us if we tire of the constant travel. Though I do find it to be demanding at times, I still prefer this lifestyle to the four to five hour round trip commute when I worked for the Georgia Office of Homeland Security. As with every job I have been fortunate to have, this role has plenty of challenges but also offers me opportunities to experience so many interesting things. Most importantly, the work of our center allows me to continue to collaborate with amazing and impressive people who care deeply about the safety of our campuses just as my previous public safety positions did.
Whether you fly a lot, work in the same setting every day, or operate out of a police car or fire truck for a living, you will find amazing people in service to others everywhere if you just take the time to look for them.