FAN work in the field

  • Published February 29, 2024

Featuring members of EMSC’s Family Advisory Network (FAN). Learn more about the FAN.

Name: Arnold Payne, AEMT

State/Territory: Virgin Islands

In 2018, Arnold Payne, AEMT, became the Family Advisory Network (FAN) representative after a 31-year career as the Chief of the Aircraft Rescue Fire Services at the Virgin Islands Port Authority. Beyond his professional role, Payne is a beacon of hope and support for families facing the challenges of caring for children with disabilities.

Payne's inspiration stems from his granddaughter, Brianna, who was born with a severe case of cerebral palsy, affecting her mobility and communication abilities. With his daughter serving in the military overseas, Payne took on the responsibility of caring for Brianna during her stays in the Virgin Islands. However, he encountered challenges in finding suitable providers. Undeterred, Payne embarked on a journey of research and skill acquisition to ensure the well-being of his granddaughter. His dedication extended beyond his family, as he shared his knowledge with other parents facing similar situations. By offering guidance and support, Payne empowered parents to care for their children with confidence.

Payne's multifaceted role within the EMSC has emphasized education. He has served as a pediatric educator champion, imparting crucial skills such as first aid, CPR, AED, opioid training, water safety, and various medical certifications. A testament to Payne's leadership, an online video showcases the first aid, CPR, and AED training provided to St. Croix Central High School students, highlighting the practical impact of his efforts in the community.

As the lead FAN representative, Payne has actively engaged with intergovernmental agencies and private sector businesses, highlighting the importance of the EMSC Program and its benefits to the community. His efforts have resulted in the collaboration of over 20 professionals from diverse fields, creating a comprehensive approach to enhancing pediatric emergency care in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Looking ahead to the 40th anniversary of the EMSC Program, Payne and the FAN group are gearing up for a groundbreaking initiative: a pediatric disaster expo scheduled for April and May 2024 on the islands of St. Thomas and St. Croix, respectively. This expo aims to bolster preparedness within Virgin Island families before the onset of the upcoming hurricane season in June 2024.

Payne's unwavering dedication, fueled by his love for his granddaughter, has not only transformed his family's life but has also created a lasting impact on the broader community. His legacy is a testament to the power of compassion, education, and community collaboration in the realm of emergency medical services.

Learn more about the FAN here.