Burke Named Full-Time Chief of Humboldt General Hospital EMS Rescue

Sean Burke, who has served for more than six months as the interim leader at HGH EMS Rescue, is now its full-time chief.

Chief Burke was named to the position September 27; he has served as interim chief of the organization since the resignation of former EMS chief Pat Songer earlier this year.

Humboldt General Hospital Interim Administrator Darlene Bryan said she was pleased with the appointment and with continuing the good work that Chief Burke has begun.

“During this [interim] he has proven himself to be an excellent leader and has continued to lead the EMS department in a positive direction,” she said.

Bryan, who was joined on the selection committee by HGH EMS Rescue Medical Director Dr. Charles Stringham, HGH Emergency Department Manager Robyn Dunckhorst, and HGH Human Resource Director Rose Green, said the group spent a great deal of time considering the qualifications for the EMS chief position.

“The selection of the EMS Chief was a difficult decision,” she said, noting that ultimately, the group’s focus centered on “leadership and ability to lead.”

Chief Burke has over 27 years of service with the United States Coast Guard, including experience as a Communications Officer, Commanding Officer, Operations Officer, Chief of Leadership and Professional Development, Executive Officer, Deputy Chief of Defense Operations, Chief of Staff, Commanding Officer, and Coast Guard Liaison to the U.S. Pacific Fleet.

Chief Burke also holds master’s degrees in Organizational Management, and National Security and Defense Policy.

More recently, he has served as the Assistant Chief of the Grass Valley Pershing County Fire Department. He joined HGH EMS Rescue in 2015, initially as an EMT, advancing to an Advanced EMT, an EMS instructor, the Education Coordinator for the newly designated American Heart Association CPR Training Site and then Interim EMS Chief.

Bryan said HGH was fortunate to have someone of Chief Burke’s expertise and abilities to lead EMS.

“We hope our staff and community will welcome Sean to this new role and offer him their support and assistance,” she said.

For his part, Chief Burke said he is excited for the opportunity to not only advance emergency medical services and education throughout HGH’s service area, but to do so alongside his fellow team members.

“People routinely comment on this service and its great capacity and ability to help people in need, but it’s only as good as each EMS provider—and we have an amazing group that stands ready to serve.”

He added, “I know that as we continue to work as a team, good things lie ahead.”