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Trooper Down on the Roadway. The Bob Bemis Story – SAM 387

This interview is with Bob Bemis, a retired Pennsylvania State Trooper who was struck and severely injured while attending to a vehicle fire on I-81 in eastern Pennsylvania.

Sergeant (Ret.) Robert Bemis retired in 2017 as a Supervisor in the Operational Training Division at the Pennsylvania State Police Academy in Hershey. With over 30 years of law enforcement experience, Sgt. Bemis spent more than a decade as a trainer in many police disciplines, specializing in officer safety, self-defense and civil disorder tactics.

He has worked in previous assignments as both a Patrol Trooper and Patrol Supervisor, at several stations in western Pennsylvania. Sgt. Bemis was also assigned to the Forensic Services Unit, investigating major crime and accident scenes with emphasis on evidence collection and fingerprint analysis.

In March 2015, Sgt. Bemis was severely injured while assisting a disabled motorist along an interstate highway. Following months of hospitalization and rehabilitation, Sgt. Bemis returned to his duties at the Academy, and continued teaching for more than a year before retirement. He shares the experience of his final 22 months in law enforcement as author of the book – Forged in Scars & Stripes: A Trooper’s Victory Over Critical Injury.

Following retirement, Sgt. Bemis continues to provide training on a variety of law enforcement subjects, and travels to raise awareness to the hazards present to emergency responders along our highways. He is a volunteer Peer Advocate and Director of Training for The Wounded Blue – the national support and assistance organization for injured and disabled officers.

He is a veteran of the United States Marine Corps, serving on active duty from 1986 to 1992. As a Military Policeman, he performed high-level security assignments, first as a member of the helicopter squadron responsible for transporting the President, also known as “Marine One”; and later, for the National Military Command Center at the Pentagon.

Length: 68 Minutes

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About the Host

Richard B. Gasaway, PhD, CSP is widely considered a trusted authority on human factors, situational awareness and the high-risk decision making processes used in high-stress, high consequence work environments. He served 33 years on the front lines as a firefighter, EMT-Paramedic, company officer, training officer, fire chief and emergency incident commander.  His doctoral research included the study of cognitive neuroscience to understand how human factors flaw situational awareness and impact high-risk decision making.


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