Roger Lemley
B.S. Fire and Emergency Services Administration

Roger Lemley became one of Colorado State University’s most recent graduates last week with a new Bachelor of Science degree in Fire and Emergency Services Administration (FESA). This online program, based in the Forest and Rangeland Stewardship Department, offered him a unique opportunity to apply new emergency response knowledge into action and instilled a greater desire to extend his helping hands even further.

Since his first job as a lifeguard in high school, saving lives has been part of Lemley’s professional mission. After completing his primary education, he served in the U.S. Marine Corps for five years, and is currently a paramedic for St. Joseph’s Ambulance Service in Parkersburg, West Virginia. He also volunteers as a firefighter. His first emergency call as a paramedic some years ago, in which his team successfully revived a patient, left an impression on Lemley.

“I love my job and helping people,” he affirmed. “I always want to figure out what the best way is to help the most people.”

This is something he’s been thinking about because of the large area his ambulance service covers. His team serves over 85,000 people, covers an entire county of 377 square miles, and dispatches from five fire stations. Lemley noticed a need for standardized operating procedures within the organization that could better serve and reach his professional colleagues as well as the public they serve.

firefighter with hose
Field photos courtesy of Roger Lemley

Subsequently, for his last four credits in the FESA program, Lemley developed a new field officer training program for the Parkersburg chapter of St. Joseph’s. It outlines procedures that orients all employees to similar processes, and provides clear paths to correcting operational issues that could arise.

Lemley presented the plan to his organization’s CEO and operations manager with whom it was well-received. He said the wide-range of topics and principles he learned in his FESA coursework prepared him for this capstone experience.

“Anything you want to know about emergency response is in the FESA program,” Lemley added. “The broad spectrum of courses covered everything, from boots on the ground to structural collapse to coordinating a multi-state response.”

Gaining these broad insights also offered a peek into his future career trajectory. Lemley will continue to make improvements in his current position, but he said he is also well-prepared to work his way up to coordinating emergency responses at the national level.

It’s fitting that Lemley believes “emergency response is the best thing in the world,” as that is where he hopes his efforts will eventually reach.

advisor and graduates smile