We had the good fortune of connecting with Shae Freeman-Caimitte, EMCTP and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Shae, what role has risk played in your life or career?
I believe risks are meant to be taken if you want to make the dreams you have come true. Reaching for your goals and chasing your dreams can be scary, and it takes you out of your comfort zone. By staying in your comfort zone, you will never really reach your full potential, and I want to live as full a life as possible without ever wondering “what if” when it comes to my dreams. The biggest risk so far that I’ve taken in my career when it comes to my business would be the day I decided to leave my employer, and my dream job in EMS….and work for myself full time. I had people who would constantly tell me how much they believed in my potential and would even say that they believed that one day I would take a leap of Faith, and focus on my business full time. Of course, initially I would laugh this off, because I worked for a department that I was in love with, and a Community that I saw myself retiring with. Unfortunately things happened that changed my mind about many things with that Agency, and I knew that it was time to take that leap. While the way I decided to resign was bittersweet and somewhat sudden, and certain people thought that I was making a “spur of the moment” decision. In reality that was not the case at all. I have a very strong Faith. It was spoken into me that it was time to make my side business, my MAIN business. During this same time, I was being given opportunities with my business that made this decision more obvious. So I did it. Just within months of making this decision, Covid-19 shut everything down, but I was still Blessed with the ability to keep my business going and growing. Risk taking is necessary to reach that next level in your life. I don’t regret for a second the decisions I made to work for myself on a full time basis!
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My exposure to CPR/First Aid came at 15 years old when I was first certified. In Chicago, we had to do Community Service as a requirement for graduation, so I volunteered at a hospital briefly. I enjoyed it back then, but didn’t know at the time what the future would hold. It wasn’t until I was 18 years old that I discovered my true Passion for medicine. It was first the birth of my oldest son who has a rare (and for some fatal) medical condition, and then soon after the sudden death of my Grandmother, that made me realize that knowing what to do in an emergency was a strong interest of mine. I have been in the medical field since I was 19 years old. First graduating from a Medical Assisting program, and then a couple of years later getting into an EMT program at a Community College. I didn’t work in EMS until I later became a Paramedic, but years before this I became a CPR instructor with the Red Cross as a volunteer. I spent a bit over 10 years in the EMS/Fire world, and during this time I maintained my CPR trainer certification. Later, when I decided to start Community Responders, I had already experienced so many things in my medical profession, that I knew that when teaching others, I could make it more realistic (and enjoyable) than your traditional class. I wanted people to look forward to the knowledge, because they could possibly save someone’s life one day. Often times, CPR classes are so boring and dry, people dread having to take the class (especially if it was only because they needed it for work). I wanted to change this perception for people, because it is such an important skill to learn. Over the past 5 years I’ve acquired so many credentials that I now use to train/certify others. From State caregiver mandated courses, to courses developed by FEMA and the Dept of Homeland Security, in addition to your basic and professional level CPR and First Aid courses. I know now that there was a plan being unfolded for that 15 year old version of me from the minute I signed up for that first CPR class. It definitely was not an “easy” journey developing my company. There are so many CPR companies, and it is almost impossible to NOT know someone who teaches CPR with you are around emergency medical providers. So making Community Responders stand out was not a simple task. What started making the company stand out was the way I taught my classes, the fact that its more informative and “real” compared to come classes. Word of mouth has been an amazing thing for my business. I give all credit to God for all the obstacles that I’ve overcome. Without Him, none of what I have accomplished would have been possible. Sometimes the biggest obstacle is me getting in my own way! LOL! But God reminds me who I am and what He has created me for, and that is to help others and teach others to help one another.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
There are so many beautiful spots in Arizona, I’m not sure if we’d make it all happen in one week! LOL! We would definitely have to do some hiking, either one of the trails at South Mountain or Papago park to start (there are places that are still too advanced for me haha!) Scenic drives to different parts of the State would have to happen.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I dedicate my shoutout to my family. For my parent who’ve been cheering me own every step of the way. I have a few close friends who have been pushing me constantly to keep going and growing, who celebrate my successes with me. My kids for believing in their mother and even helping me with classes on occasion. My Church Family for being here every step of the way as well and praying for me. I am truly, truly Blessed with a great circle around me.