You in Motion is a career-driven program developed to help our employees advance. We put our employees in a position to learn, grow, and succeed long-term; whether it's here with us, or elsewhere.
We recently caught up with Kelvin Checo, a Fleet Manager, to discuss the work environment and his career journey trajectory with On Time so far.
Can you walk us through your career journey at On Time?
I started at On Time as an EMT in 2016. After gaining experience I was promoted to a Station Supervisor. The duties for Station Supervisor were to oversee the fleet to ensure everything was equipped and DOH-approved. The base also needed to be fully stocked for all shifts and making sure stock supplies were available for spares. This role also included teaching staff certain skills and training new employees.
As On Time continued to grow even, a Field Supervisor position opened, I applied, and was promoted to that role in 2017. The Field Supervisor role was more hands-on and I was able to gain an amazing amount of experience.
The difference with Field Supervisor is overseeing all the Station Supervisor duties. We concentrate more on employees in training and work ethics. The job was to make sure all the employees were prepared to do their jobs correctly. The Field Supervisor works with all departments to make sure the employees have all the tools and resources they need when they are out on the field with patients.
Once we partnered with Robert Wood Johnson Barnabas Health (RWJB), the fleet department started growing as well and a Fleet Manager position opened. I applied because I always had a history with the automotive world. I was interviewed and they accepted me to be their new Fleet Manager in 2020.
I set goals to break and keep breaking!
What are some challenges you face as Fleet Manager? How do you overcome these?
The main challenge was learning the new role and making decisions that could affect vital timelines. I adapted by taking on the role with confidence. I learned a lot from my main mentor, VP of Operations, Joe Borer, who trained me when I was just an EMT in 2016 to now a Fleet Manager today. The things I learned helped me adapt to many challenges that came my way.
What do you enjoy most about being a Fleet Manager and why?
The most enjoyable part about being a Fleet Manager is working in a field that I always had a love for.
How does management judge your performance?
It doesn't change much because as a Field Supervisor I had to make critical decisions that involved patient lives. My performance here will only grow because of the experience I had in quick problem-solving.
Why did you choose to switch career gears and go from Field Supervisor to training the fleet? How has On Time supported you in this process?
I made the switch because I always had a great partnership with the fleet department when I was Field Supervisor. I worked closely with the fleet team to get ambulances repaired/ready for DOH inspections and getting information from employees about vehicle complaints. On Time supported me the whole way by training me to be a great leader as soon as I stepped foot into this company.
Can you describe how the growth opportunities work at On Time?
The career growth opportunities are here. All you have to do is want it and show what you learned along the way. If there is a job opening and you want to apply, On Time will give you the opportunity and hear your story. They love to see their employees grow.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I'm a hobby junkie. I have plenty of hobbies. My latest one is working on my motorcycle and converting it into a style of my own. Camping is another big one. I also enjoy snowboarding, cigar secret tastings, mixology, PC gaming, carpentry, and smoking meat (which is also one of my favorite hobbies now).
Do you work with new EMTs? What are some common mistakes/issues you see with new EMTs, and what's your approach to mentoring them?
When working with new EMTs, the most common mistake is fear. The way I help employees with this is by showing them how to communicate with patients in a way that makes them both comfortable in stressful situations.
Which characteristics do you think are necessary to become a successful EMT?
The main characteristic is you have to care. It's not just a job. It's someone's life.
What advice would you give to someone who is thinking about becoming an EMT?
Make sure you're mentally ready to handle the life of a first responder. There are a lot of real-life situations you will experience and see. As an EMT, you have to be ready to perform your job without hesitating.
From EMT in 2016 to Fleet Manager in 2020 and beyond, we are so proud of Kelvin's career growth over the years. We strive to promote within and will continue to help our employees advance in their careers. Thank you for sharing your story with us, Kelvin.
Interested in becoming an EMT? Need EMT training in New Jersey?
Learn more about On Time Ambulance's career development program here.