EMS needs more people like Mike Smith
Legendary teacher and paramedic is survived by wife, 2 daughters
By Art Hsieh
We lost one of the good ones this week.
In a profession filled with hard-working, well-intentioned and passionate people, Mike Smith stood above them all. Big in stature and bigger than life, Mike was EMS. Mike was teaching. For me, Mike was an inspiration.
I didn’t know Mike very well, but it seemed like we were old friends each time we met. Not too many people I know could put this introvert at ease.
To know Mike was to know commitment. He was committed to his family, to his profession, to the patient. I remember that he worked the ambulance for some time after he began teaching at Tacoma Community College. Stayed close to his roots.
Mike was passionate about life. He personified the idea that a life without passion is a life not worth living. Teaching. Learning. Loving. Fishing.
Mike made people mad. Not because he was an instigator, a problem child. It was because he was right. And he spoke the truth, which can be painful to both receiver and sender. Sometimes, painful things need to be said so that we can improve and move on.
To Sylvia, Missy and Val: I am so sad for your loss. There is no consolation. Many of us have been touched by Mike’s giving to the profession. We are grateful that we were able to learn so much from Mike. He loved you and loved us too. Thank you all for your gift of his time and talent.
I suspect many people will miss Big Mike. I know I will.