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Pictured is public administration student and assistant director of Ross/West View EMS, Greg Porter.

Meet Greg Porter

Degree pursuing: Bachelor of Science in Public Administration with concentrations in Emergency Medical Services Administration and Fire Service Administration
Expected graduation:
Fall 2013
Job titles:
Assistant Director of Operations and Volunteer Fire Chief
Ross/West View Emergency Medical Services Authority and Etna Volunteer Fire Department
Degrees previously earned:
Associate of Science in business management, Community College of Allegheny County
Hometown and current residence:
Etna, Pa.
Boating, rafting, camping, skiing, traveling and spending time with friends and family

How have your classes helped you in your EMS and fire chief roles?

This is an interesting question. In fact, I was just thinking about this very subject when I recently attended a meeting at a community hospital where we were discussing community risk assessment and how to develop a planning team to address community health risks. The meeting included a series of concepts and terms that previously I had not been familiar with. As a result of the subjects covered in my classes at Point Park, I was not only informed but was an active participant in the meeting.

What attracted you to Point Park University?

I had been attending the Community College of Allegheny County for a while on a part-time basis and spent a considerable amount of time evaluating my options. Degrees for public safety can be somewhat limiting. I didn't want to have an education that would limit my movement. The year I graduated from CCAC, Professor Skertich informed me of a public administration degree available at Point Park in which you could focus in EMS or fire service administration. It was a perfect fit at the perfect time. I am actually doing both concentrations. It is a lot of information but I am very excited, involved and loving every minute of it.

How would you describe Point Park's public administration professors?

So far the professors have been wonderful and helpful. The fact that they are all practicing in the fields they are teaching in is a wonderful benefit for me. I have taken some classes over the years where the theory and what actually happens in the real world doesn't always match. Point Park's professors have a wonderful grasp on both the theoretical information and the practical experiences which give the subject matter context.

What are your future career goals and how do you think a B.S. in public administration will help you achieve them?

Recently there was a white paper released by the National Association of EMTs that discussed the importance of formal and higher education in emergency medical services. Similarly, the International Association of Fire Chiefs suggest that more high ranking fire officials are or at least should be educated at the bachelor's degree level. There is a large push for higher education in public safety. A bachelor's degree will be a critical part of my resume. I would like to continue to advance within my career and believe the sky is the limit. I believe my degree from Point Park, along with my life and career experiences, will create many opportunities for me along the road.

How do you balance college with work and family life?

I have an exceptional wife and wonderful children. My family is so very supportive it brings tears to my eyes. I want more than anything to be a good husband and father. Doing well at Point Park will help me set a good example for my boys. Balancing everything can be challenging from time to time. I could not do it without the support of my wife Becky and my sons Nathan, Ryan, Brendan and Aidan. Being a non-traditional student has really taught me good time management skills.

What advice do you have for non-traditional students?

My advice to non-traditional students is to just do it. Commit yourself and give it everything you have. The rewards are worth the effort. It's not just about the degree at the end but the process and the road you travel along the way. I have learned so much and met so many wonderful people. I always reflect on this experience with admiration. As I head into the spring semester, I can't wait to see what my last year brings.


More About: EMS administration, public administration, fire service administration, Rowland School of Business