Submitted by Anne Enquist, Lakewood Rotary.
When the pandemic hit Washington State and Lakewood, it required many people to step up and guide us through uncharted waters. Fortunately, Lakewood’s new Assistant Chief of Emergency Medical Services and Training, Ryan McGrady, did just that, and more.
“From the moment the pandemic started,” says West Pierce County Fire Chief Jim Sharp, “Ryan jumped right in. He’s been our go to person to help us design our health and safety standards emergency response plans, quarantine plans, and on and on.”
“Whenever there is a question about the virus and how we should be responding,” says Sharp, “we immediately go to Ryan for direction.”
Because McGrady has consistently “gone the extra mile” during the Covid-19 crisis, Sharp nominated him for the Lakewood Rotary and Partners in Rotary ’s Greater Lakewood Unsung Hero award. McGrady received the award at the weekly Lakewood Rotary videoconference meeting at the end of July.
“Ryan McGrady is constantly working with the health department, epidemiologists, hospitals, and other health care providers to make sure we are providing the appropriate level of care in the community, while keeping everyone safe,” says Sharp.
Luckily for Lakewood, McGrady likes to read all the long, dense, peer-reviewed studies on communicable diseases, Covid-19 and public health. “It’s great,” says Sharp, “because it is rare we have a question he can’t provide us guidance on.”
Sharp also points out that “we were in the middle of a recruit academy, training 16 new firefighters when the virus hit. Overnight we had to shut it down and figure out what to do. Ryan quickly pulled together his training team and within a week, they had developed a new training curriculum that included appropriate social distancing. They were able to successfully graduate all 16 recruits on time.”
Chief Sharp summed up well why Ryan McGrady is deserving of the Lakewood Rotary’s Greater Lakewood Unsung Hero award: “We would not be as successful as we are today without Ryan leading our EMS and Training divisions. West Pierce and the Lakewood community are extremely fortunate to have someone like Ryan working for us.”
In accepting his award, Ryan recognized everyone in the EMS and Training Divisions for all of their hard work and acknowledged it was definitely a team effort.
To nominate someone for the Greater Lakewood Unsung Hero award, simply send a short description of what that person has done in the community during the covid-19 crisis to either firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.