GEM Environmental is proud to welcome Dave Tharp to the team. Dave is the newest Board Member and a pillar of our community. Welcome aboard, Dave!
Dave has over 25 years of experience in the Firefighting and Emergency Medical Service (EMS) Industry in Arizona – holding the ranks of Reserve Firefighter through Battalion Chief and is a certified Paramedic. He is currently the Assistant Chief of Administration for the Central Arizona Fire and Medical Authority and has overseen the “business part” of fire agencies (Human Resources, Finance and Administration) for the past 8 years. He managed the transition of the Central Yavapai and Chino Valley Fire Districts to create the first Joint Powers Authority in Arizona in 2016. He sits on the Board of Directors for Securis – a worker’s compensation risk pool for fire districts, and Kairos – a health insurance risk pool for town, cities, school districts and fire districts in Arizona. He is finalizing his degree in Fire Administration through Columbia Southern University, has 6 kids, loves to golf, was born in Hawaii and is fluent in Italian.
Dave understands and emphasizes the importance of STEM Curriculum in the fire service and has seen scientific advances make firefighting and emergency services more efficient, effective and safer. He notes, “firefighting used to be considered a “blue collar” profession – however, with all the presenting hazards in emergency medicine, chemical materials, swift water/ technical rescue, structural and wildland firefighting – this has changed and pushed this profession to be a technically trained, highly specialized and science driven profession. There is still a need for physical fitness and abilities in firefighting, but it is now coupled with higher education that focuses on STEM."