What Do HOU Get as a Volunteer? A chat with Casey Gay, BSN, RN, Medical Volunteer, and the Houston Marathon Committee.
Written by: Cora Lindsay
Casey is a full-time trauma nurse in the ICU at Memorial Hermann, part-time nurse for Harris County Emergency Corridor for North Harris County 911 services as well as a part-time EMS supervisor at NRG. Because of this busy schedule, Casey is around for ALL the big events; including ours!
HMC: “How did you find out about us?”
Casey: “I like running, I run in Rice twice a week with a group and being involved in that I started researching ways to be involved in the community. That’s when I found the Houston Marathon Committee. My first year as a volunteer, I was out biking the course. First aid logistics was my second year and this year I will be doing the same thing with first aid logistics but in a bigger way.”
HMC: “What will you be doing this year that is so much bigger?”
Casey: “We have someone in a central command station on the day of the race overseeing all operations. I am out in the truck this year communicating with them about what’s happening, and we work together. This year I will be in the central command station! There will be a couple of volunteer captains on the ground I will be working with and coordinating communications with to ensure we are prepared for athletes in any way that they could need us big or small.”
HMC: “Why do you do this, I mean it is clear you love what you do and helping people is part of who you are, but couldn’t you use a break on a long weekend?”
Casey: “Being able to give back to runners who trained for a year to run this, makes me feel like I can help provide a safe course for them. If a runner needs assistance, we want to be there whether it is a Band-Aid or something more serious. That makes me feel better than rest, I want to be there helping. I also grew a lot as a professional. I am learning about logistics and management I wouldn’t otherwise experience in my day-to-day roles.”
HMC: “That makes sense. You’re developing new skills then?”
Casey: “Kind of . . . I learn a lot working in the logistics side of things. I learn a lot professionally when it comes to logistics in this volunteer role. For example, we have a very narrow window to load up supplies, stock the aid stations and get out, it is airtight.”
HMC: “So what do you take away, beyond new skills after volunteering?”
Casey: “If you had asked me when I volunteered year one if I would do some of this logistics stuff I would have said, ‘No! I am patient facing.’ However, Joe and Lars have brought me on to this new side of my profession and they helped me reimagine what I can do inside this profession. So I take away a lot of confidence and gratitude at the end of the day.”