Paramedic Patrick Shepler entered the back of the classroom in my fire academy nearly 10 years ago, pager hanging off his belt, a cup of coffee in hand, a smile on his face. Patrick was introduced to our class of new firefighters and he kept his words brief: appreciation of our time and dedication, welcome to the family, and one last thing before he left, “I love this business and always will.” Patrick still feels this way today after around 40 years in Fire and Emergency Medical Services.
Over the years I have had the privilege to call Patrick my partner in the ambulance, my teacher, my mentor, and my friend; a trusted colleague who always encouraged me to strive for more and to ask better of myself and of my team.
Patrick Shepler has my vote for Fire Commissioner this November. He understands the Fire Service, and its role in our community, from Fire and EMS to Community Risk Reduction, Fire Prevention, Education, and even arranging pet care for people when they fall ill.
Patrick understands leadership and has fostered a community of responders that care for our community in good times and bad; Firefighters and EMTs who love the work of serving Orcas Island.
I encourage everyone to vote for Patrick Shepler for Fire Commissioner and allow him to continue serving and contributing to the well-being of Orcas Island in this role.