Update: Mike DeCills has withdrawn from the race as of February 26th. He gave his endorsement to Michael DeVito Jr. on March 6th, 2018.
February is beginning to heat up! March is approaching, which means it’s time for our Democratic primary candidates to begin preparing for petitioning. To help you choose which candidates you might want to volunteer for or support, we’re bringing you part three of our Congressional Contenders series.
Our guest today is Mike DeCillis, a former EMT, retired police officer, and an attorney and special-ed teacher. We’ll discuss Mike’s long career including deep-dives into healthcare, pharmaceuticals, police training, vocational education and disability rights, and labor law. We also touch on immigration advocacy and the state of Democratic politics on Staten Island.
- When Mike was younger he volunteered at St. Vincent’s on Staten Island, now Richmond University Medical Center (RUMC). It was also the same hospital he was born in!
- Mike talks about his career early in the episode, and how we went from a Music major to a getting his EMT certification in Michigan. His run hasn’t been ignored by his Alma Mater in Kalamazoo.
- Mike mentions his early career as an Emergency Medical Technician at Life EMS Ambulance. The coverage areas for Life EMS ran the gamut from the dense urban center of Grand Rapids, MI to rural cornfields and a population of around 1,500,000 people… nearly three times the population on Staten Island. You can also get a feel for the kind of training Mike went through in this local news series from WWMT.
- Mike briefly speaks about long “transport times”, sometimes over twenty minutes, during his time as an EMT. This refers to the time a patient is in an ambulance that is on the way to a trauma center or hospital, which in rural areas can be many miles away. Long transport times means that EMT’s are responsible for providing essential medical care that otherwise might have been performed in a hospital, and demands much more expertise from the attending EMT. For comparison, New York City’s median transport time is about 13 minutes according to the NYS Department of Health.
- Mike was also a SWAT Medic, or a “tactical medic“, during his time in Michigan. Some of the training programs on offer to tactical medics are similar to those for combat medics in the military. However, Mike is correct… it isn’t enough to build a career on.
- Mike also just released a new video on YouTube. Check it out below:
- We discussed police training and improved community relations between Police and their neighbors. Mike wrote a letter to the editor of the SI Advance in response to last years Drumpf / Donovan policing speech on Long island arguing that the speech was a personal insult to cops and was a setback to police-community relations.
- Mike mentioned his attendance at Donovan’s “Coffee with your Congressman” event on Staten Island, where the Congressman was confronted over his continued refusal to pass a clean DREAM act despite his promises. Mike marched with Make the Road during the event.
- You can also check out the amazing questions constituents posed to Donovan or, as Mike referred to him, “the sad man on the stool.”