It’s midnight, and you receive a call from the Sheriff’s department that your son was in a car accident involving alcohol and has been airlifted to Marshall Medical Center. You waken your spouse to tell them the news, and hope it’s a bad dream, it’s not.
El Dorado County Division Chief, Tim Cordero, is doing something about it. Tim is involved in a local program in El Dorado County called “Every 15 Minutes”, a reenactment of the effects of alcohol and teenage driving. First responders, law enforcement, parents, teachers and Marshall Medical are involved in a powerful day of reality. One year, at the conclusion of the program, Tim said you could hear a pin drop in a room of 1,500 Ponderosa High School students. “If we can save one life, it’s worth the effort.”
I recently had the pleasure of meeting Chief Tim Cordero. Tim grew-up in Texas and moved to Placerville as a high school senior. His uncle was a Pleasant Valley fire volunteer, and one day asked Tim to join him. Tim was leaning towards law enforcement until that day. He soon volunteered and became full time within a year, following in the footsteps of his Grandfather. Tim has spent most of his career in the City of Placerville at Station 25. He now manages a shift for Chief Michael Hardy, and oversees the Districts Emergency Medical Services and Operations.
Tim remembers losing one of his best friends and fellow firefighter, Matt Keck, in 2006 from occupational cancer. It was a low point in Tim’s career, that he got over with the support of his wife and family. To manage his teams’ stress, Tim relies on the support of Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM), an internal team of seven. The CISM team, is highly trained, and offers peer-based support that is extremely effective.
When asked about his wife Laurie, who he met in High School, he lit up. He described her as being everything he’s not, and reminds him that he cannot order the boys around like his firefighter team – he chuckled. Tim and Laurie have two boys, Tyler and Travis, he’s very proud of them, and knows he couldn’t have done it without Laurie’s flexibility and unconditional support. The challenges of firefighting are demanding and can instantly change at a moment’s notice.
Tim enjoys the brotherhood of his profession. No matter where he is, Tim feels a deep camaraderie. During a visit to Wrigley Field in Chicago, one of his boys accidentally stepped on an outgoing train by himself. Shortly after, he received a call from a local firefighter who was also on the train and accompanied him. His son was safe and Tim was instantly relieved. The brotherhood is deep and intertwined with a ceremonial formality. When his friend Matt passed away, he was honored at the National Memorial in Colorado Springs.
Thank you, Tim for keeping us safe and for your important work in the community. Tim serves on Marshall Foundation’s Board of Trustees.
The visionary leaders of Marshall Foundation have provided assistance for the pressing healthcare needs of the community for over 43 years. Check out the website at MarshallFound.org, and join the conversation on Marshall Foundation’s Facebook page. Your support stays local, and serves those on the Western Slope of El Dorado County.