Tim Lankford, who holds the title of District Chief (Supervisor) with the Nashville Fire Department, is also the President of statewide non-profit organization, TEMSEA. An organization whose visions include “to promote and foster the development of effective, professional EMS and EMS education in Tennessee”. Lankford, who lists himself as ‘President’ of the TEMSEA, recently came under fire when he was found to have made multiple prejudiced posts online about the LGBT community, gay marriage, and the recent transgender equality laws – going as far as to endorse a quote that indicated if a transgender person entered the bathroom with his daughter – he would not live long enough to need surgery. Lankford has also indicated he doesn’t believe in evolution – a proven scientific fact in the universe – and even had some very harsh views on the Muslims living in the United States and shopping at the same public stores as him.
The man holding all of these bigoted and prejudiced views, Tim Lankford, is in charge of the statewide non-profit agency, Tennessee Emergency Medical Services Education Association (TEMSEA), which states it is in charge of fostering the education of Emergency Medical workers throughout the state. How can a man with such narrow-minded beliefs be at the helm of an organization that is built upon educating others in the profession?
According to their website, TEMSEA’s Vision is to:
- Promote and foster the development of effective, professional EMS and EMS education in Tennessee.
- Provide EMS Educators with an opportunity for growth, academic achievements, and leadership in the developing EMS Educational arena.
- Work with the Division of EMS to provide Educator Development.
- Advocate legislation and regulations that promote growth and development of the EMS Profession.
We can’t imagine that Lankford is the most qualified candidate to model and represent these ideals – fostering the knowledge of others when his own is so restricted by his own choice, working with educators to provide development and guidance, and even providing others with opportunities for growth? And we certainly can’t imagine him promoting equality legislation given his now public views, if they pertained to the emergency profession. Imagine a law for debate like the recently passed TN law that allows therapists to turn away LGBT patients for religious reasons – would he support a similar bill for the EMS community, perhaps in a EMS community nursing/practicing situation?
The TEMSEA does have an annual conference happening July 13-15 2016 – while there is no ‘Diversity’ or similar topics on the agenda, there is ONE 50-Minute session on ‘Social Media’ that will be presented by David McBurnett – it is described as:
SOCIAL MEDIA: This lecture introduces social media as a double-edged sword in the field of EMS. Social media can be beneficial and alert young adult audiences of impending disasters. It also has the power to destroy a person’s EMS career. Social Media is a very powerful tool that can enhance and damage an EMS service. We will explore the pros and cons of this relatively new, but extremely popular web-based arena.
Will the non-profit’s President attend this important session? Will he learn anything from it? Or will he sit it out? Only time will tell, and it will be interesting to see what happens.