As Roco Rescue’s Safety Coordinator, Cameron Gilmore is responsible for ensuring that Roco’s corporate safety programs and processes are top notch. Cameron joined Roco Rescue in 2017 as a CSRT standby rescue crew member after six years with the Ruston (LA) Fire Department.
Before joining the Ruston Fire Department, Cameron attended McNeese State University-Lake Charles for one year, then transferred to the University of Louisiana in Monroe for two years. He changed paths several times, first pursuing physical therapy and then construction management. Unable to decide on his career direction, he left college to work in the fire department.
“In the end, my uncertainty – not being able to decide what I wanted to do – helped me find my career,” Cameron recalls. “After jumping from degree to degree, I took a break. It was then that I found what I loved.”
While at the Ruston Fire Department, Cameron started learning as much as he could about fire science, firefighting, safety and rescue. Meanwhile, he continued his education, earning an associate’s degree in emergency medical management and another in fire science administration. When he joined the Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) Region 8 team – his first introduction to rope rescue, structural collapse and trench rescue– Cameron found himself drawn to technical rescue.
Cameron and his wife later moved to Baton Rouge so they could be closer to family. He then applied for a job transfer to the Baton Rouge Fire Department, only to find he was about two weeks too late. His contact at the fire department – impressed with his experience in technical rescue, rope rescue, and structural collapse – suggested Cameron pursue a position with Roco Rescue.
He worked his way up to interim crew chief and then to crew chief. Inspired by Roco Rescue’s motto, “There’s a safe way, and a safer way,” Cameron realized he wanted to learn more about workplace safety. He went back to school, earning a bachelor’s degree in occupational safety and health.
“I continually try to find the next thing to further my knowledge,” Cameron says. “I didn’t know if it would take me anywhere, but when Roco found out I was pursuing a safety degree – with the Corporate Safety Officer’s impending retirement – they decided to promote me to Safety Coordinator.”
Cameron graduated from his degree program and is now a GSP (Graduate Safety Professional). He will soon take the exam to become a Certified Safety Professional (CSP). Cameron still goes out into the field when needed to help with CSRT jobs as an experienced rescue crew chief. The rest of the time, he oversees the company’s corporate safety initiatives and makes sure that Roco’s safety programs and processes are on track.
His favorite aspect of his work – and what sets Roco Rescue apart, Cameron says – is its people. “Our people are highly trained, highly motivated, and highly skilled. Our instructors live and breathe rescue. They train everyone, including our CSRT teams. Every one of us comes from a background of emergency rescue, we know what to expect in emergency situations and can thrive in those situations.”
Furthermore, the strong family atmosphere present in the smaller company makes Roco Rescue a great place to work, Cameron says.
“As a company or industry, you can never be too safe,” Cameron says. “As hard as we work to ensure our clients’ safety, we want to protect our employees equally as much.”
Stepping into the safety profession is fun and rewarding, but challenging, Cameron says. “You have to constantly be doing research, gaining knowledge on newer equipment and on newer safety protocols as they come out. You must have a lot of knowledge of the industry and stay up to date on codes, because in order to make the best decision possible, you have to have the knowledge to back it up. In the safety field, learning never stops.”
Born in Monroe and raised in Mandeville, Louisiana, Cameron now resides in Baton Rouge with his wife, Hilary. Outside of work, when he isn’t continuing to learn all he can about the industry he loves, he enjoys training at the gym and spending time with family.