Data Masons is pleased to present our blog series, Giving Back. We are very proud of our team members who have chosen to volunteer and make a difference in their communities. Data Masons provides paid time off to any employee that wishes to give back to their communities and we proudly highlight the people and worthwhile charities to which they have dedicated their time.
Kristopher “KJ” Johnston is the Director of Cloud Services and Infrastructure for Data Masons and serves a critical role for Data Masons customers as the leader of our Cloud Services and technical team. KJ lives in the Green Mountains of Vermont and is a volunteer with several emergency response teams in his area. In fact, KJ is certified as a Wilderness EMT – an elite rating.
When asked how he ended up being a part of his local emergency efforts, KJ explained that he used to be a part time police officer before his city discontinued its police force. After that, he decided he wanted to continue giving back to the community as a first responder and he earned his certification as a Wilderness EMT. From there, he joined other emergency response organizations. KJ is now part of the scuba dive search and rescue team for the fire department, a volunteer EMT, a member of the technical rescue team for wilderness medical emergencies, a high and low angle rope rescuer, and involved with swift water rescue and recovery.
As you can tell, KJ loves giving back to his community as much as possible. For him, it’s about the camaraderie in these organizations, and knowing that when people are in the most difficult and terrible situations of their life, he can help get them to a place where they are safe and able to heal.
If you’re wondering whether getting involved in one or more similar organizations in your own area is the right move for you, KJ has some advice. “Give it a try,” he says. He knows it’s not for everybody, and it’s a big commitment and “a lot of work” but it is all worthwhile. “Come to some trainings, see if you gel with the team and if it’s something you’d be interested in. Rescuing someone in need from a life threatening situation is a truly rewarding experience.” KJ offers a final word of advice to potential rescuers, “Be prepared for the best darn ride of your life.”
All of us at Data Masons have great admiration for KJ and his commitment to community. We thank him for sharing his story with our readers!
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KJ (in the hat) during a recent training for wilderness search and rescue
A participant in the Rescue, Inc. Adventure Race, a fundraiser event for emergency services in the Green Mountains that gives participants a taste of rescue operations.