Dan Geraghty, Lifeline Communications Specialist

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Hear how Dan and his team help bring Johns Hopkins care to a patient's bedside:

I was a firefighter for Baltimore City for 23 years, and I worked mostly in East Baltimore. I was at the station on Harford and Oliver Street, which isn’t far from The Johns Hopkins Hospital. We were very busy in this area, and I was often dropping patients off at Hopkins with an ambulance crew.

My title was emergency vehicle driver, and I drove the ladder truck. Usually our job was to put ladders up, do search and rescue and provide access, if doors needed to be taken out or windows needed to be taken out. “Sometimes we would arrive at a fire and the people outside would tell us there are people still inside. It was our job to go in and find them.”

I always had a positive impression of Hopkins. I remember our fire company responded to one fire back in 2001 on Broadway when some firefighters were injured. They brought one injured firefighter right down the street to Hopkins. He actually had an inhalation injury, and they brought him into the emergency room. The doctor who saw him did a trach on him and probably saved his life. That was one of the good things about working close to Hopkins.

After I retired in 2010, I spent about a year at home waiting for the grass to grow, so I decided to see what else was out there. I just read the job description and I was thinking what this department did would probably be a good fit for me. And it has been.

I’ve been working with Lifeline’s Hopkins Communication Center for seven years now as a communications specialist. After the Hopkins Access Line receives a call to transfer an outside patient and coordinates with bed management and admitting, I help in preparing and dispatching the crew to pick up the patient. We arrange the transportation, triage the call to find out what level of care they need and send out an ambulance to pick the patient up and bring them back to one of the hospitals in the Johns Hopkins Health System. My job is coordinating all of that and to make sure the right care team gets to the right facilities. A lot of times we’ll call the sending facility, whether it’s an outside hospital or urgent care center, and say, “Hey, we’ll be there in an hour to bring that patient into Hopkins,” and they’re so relieved to hear that because the patients often require specialized care that they need at our hospitals.

Now, I’m hearing everything over the radio, so it’s a little bit different than being out there on the scene as a firefighter. I don’t miss being out all night cold and wet in the winter time, putting out fires. I’m glad to trade that for the office. I found this job, and it’s been very rewarding and enjoyable.

Most people have no idea the magnitude of how many people are waiting every day for a bed at Hopkins, all the calls we’re handling, sending crews out to different places. We’re handling the emergency paging for the hospital, we’re handling discharges as well as all the people we’re trying to bring into the hospital. It’s constant very busy, not much down time.

I do a lot of bicycling on my days off, and have been doing it for years. In 2000, I rode from Los Angeles to Boston, which took 50 days. I pretty much plan my own trips now, things I want to do or get out for a long weekend or four days off and go plan out a ride. Some people can go swimming or take yoga. I get out on the bike and that’s my relaxation and stress reliever. I found one that worked for me so I’m sticking with it.

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Dan Geraghty, Lifeline Communications Specialist, 5.0 out of 5 based on 3 ratings

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