Brad McCutcheon and family

Lake Highlands neighbor Brad McCutcheon is active in the community, volunteering with the Exchange Club and speaking to students about his work as a first responder. Turns out we’re not the only folks who appreciate the guy. The Plano Star Courier featured McCutcheon in Sunday’s paper.

McCutcheon grew up in Plano and said, as a kid, he always wanted to become a firefighter. He spent years as a paramedic working to save victims of cardiac arrest and major traumas, and now he’s head of the department’s emergency medical services (EMS). He credits the television show “Emergency!” with showing him at age 5 “all the cool things” firefighters and paramedics do and for “putting our profession on the map.”

COVID-19 has complicated things for McCutcheon and his crew, and he admits the risks left them uneasy at first.

“Nobody wants their team members to get sick or, worse, take their exposure to a disease home to their families,” he told the Star Courier’s Chloe Bennett. “As healthcare providers we could very quickly contribute to the spread of COVID through the community as we see patients.”

McCutcheon’s Fire-Rescue team adapted to the safety needs of their new environment, donning extra personal protective equipment on every call.

“This is a huge increase in workload as wearing extra suits and masks makes treating patients more cumbersome and complicated,” he said. “All of our PPE is maintained, decontaminated and discarded in a preplanned and systematic manner. We are also using specialized equipment to decontaminate our ambulances in order to prevent potential viral spread from one patient to the next.”

McCutcheon said his home life, like everyone else’s, has been upended by the pandemic, and he’s working with wife, Goodwin, to keep their 6-year-old and 4-year-old happy and productive.

“With our gym closed and the kids being out of school, we are spending as much time as we can getting them outside and staying active. We’ve been cooking more and trying to support as many of our favorite local restaurants as we can, too.”

He had high praise for his teammates as they deal with the stress of COVID-19, and he recognized what makes his job enjoyable.

“You and I could name countless rewarding professions that help make people’s lives better,” he told Bennett, “but what sets my job apart is the people.”

You can reminisce with a 1972 episode of “Emergency!” on Youtube below.