Dwayne McDuffie, United States Army Reserves

VST, EMT, Lifeguard Ambulance Service

Charlie Wise comes from a long line of United States military Veterans. His grandfather fought bravely at the Battle of the Bulge against the Nazis in World War II. His great grandfather served in both World Wars, attaining the rank of Lieutenant Commander in the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG), the branch Wise, himself, chose in 1988.

Over his four-year enlistment, he would see a lot of the country and learn a lot about himself. After boot camp, he was stationed on the USCG Tahoma out of New Bedford, Massachusetts. He later transferred to the USCG Station in Gulfport, Mississippi, where he worked on smaller boats (rather than the larger Cutters), performing search-and-rescue missions and enforcing federal and state maritime laws in the Gulf of Mexico and surrounding local waters. He later transferred to USCG Station Grand Isle, Louisiana, where he worked with the Corpsman providing emergency medical services on the island.

When he was discharged in 1991, Wise had a wealth of skills to draw from in civilian life. He was determined to build a career providing care to his local community in Harrison County, Mississippi—and did just that. Now approaching 35 years in the EMS industry, he is a rapid-response medic for American Medical Response in Gulfport and surrounding rural areas, providing initial care for patients until a transporting unit arrives, and continuing care when circumstances dictate. He is also a handler on the GMR Therapy Dog Team. He credits much of his success to his time in the USCG.

“The discipline that I received is what prepared me for my current and past roles with AMR,” said Wise. “The ability to remain calm in a crisis, whether that be a mass-casualty incident, cardiac arrest or a transfer of a patient back to their home, the Coast Guard helped teach me that.”

Rank Achieved
Wise attained the rank of Seaman E-3 in the U.S. Coast Guard and was nearing the completion of his training as a Coxswain E-4 when he completed his enlistment in 1991.

Deployments/Countries Visited
In addition to serving in Massachusetts, Louisiana and Mississippi, Wise also went to Cuba, the Bahamas and Bermuda.

Why GMR?
“First, it’s an honor to answer a call for an emergent situation and provide essential medical care to someone—who I may never see again—and make a difference in their lives as well as their family members,” said Wise. “Second, I work for the largest provider of medical care in the country where at any given time we can be requested to assist in any all-hazards situation and move assets to assist those in need from one end of the country to the other.”