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Giving the gift of life

Hear from live liver donor Will Lindbergh, whose selfless act inspired a charity to encourage first responders to participate in organ donation


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This episode of EMS One Stop is sponsored by Blink; the mobile app helping EMS providers to better communicate with their field staff. Learn more about how Blink’s two-way communications features are helping to reduce first responder turnover at

In this edition of EMS One-Stop, Rob Lawrence chats with Christine Fiechter, executive director of the 501c3 Charity EMS Gives Life, and live liver donor Will Lindbergh, whose selfless act spurned the creation of the charity.

Cambridge, Massachusetts’ Pro EMS CEO Bill Mergendahl was inspired to launch EMS Gives Life after seeing the personal example set by one of his paramedics, Will Lindberg, who made the life-giving decision to become an anonymous liver donor.

Will was inspired to learn more about liver donation after responding to an emergency call from a patient with liver failure. In February, 2020, Will underwent a laparoscopic procedure to remove a portion of his liver, which helped save the life of 3-year-old Ian Charles, who was suffering from a rare type of liver cancer that can affect babies and young children.

Listen in to learn more about Will’s story, and why EMS Gives Life encourages first responders to give a small piece of themselves to give someone else a new chance at life – and help address the chronic unmet need for life-giving organ donations.

Rob Lawrence has been a leader in civilian and military EMS for over a quarter of a century. He is currently the director of strategic implementation for PRO EMS and its educational arm, Prodigy EMS, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and part-time executive director of the California Ambulance Association.

He previously served as the chief operating officer of the Richmond Ambulance Authority (Virginia), which won both state and national EMS Agency of the Year awards during his 10-year tenure. Additionally, he served as COO for Paramedics Plus in Alameda County, California.

Prior to emigrating to the U.S. in 2008, Rob served as the COO for the East of England Ambulance Service in Suffolk County, England, and as the executive director of operations and service development for the East Anglian Ambulance NHS Trust. Rob is a former Army officer and graduate of the UK’s Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and served worldwide in a 20-year military career encompassing many prehospital and evacuation leadership roles.

Rob is a board member of the Academy of International Mobile Healthcare Integration (AIMHI) as well as chair of the American Ambulance Association’s State Association Forum. He writes and podcasts for EMS1 and is a member of the EMS1 Editorial Advisory Board. Connect with him on Twitter.