GMVRS Member Profiles for National EMS Week Mary Kenney
When asked what the three most important things are in her life, Mary Kenney said, “Family, faith, and friends”, and her life story would be a testimony to those values.
As a student at Northern Virginia Community College in the 1980s, Mary shared her interests in medical occupations with a classmate who happened to be an EMT and suggested she look into EMS as a volunteer. Mary did just that, and after taking a look at the GMVRS, joined the Squad in 1985, and became an EMT provider. She enjoyed the experience, but her life was enriched even more when during the course of her 8 years with the Squad, she met and fell in love with a handsome EMT Shock Trauma Cardiac Technician (precursor to today’s medics), who was a GMVRS Lieutenant at the Station. This year, Bill and Mary will celebrate their 29th wedding anniversary.
In 1993, Mary left the Squad to raise a family of four girls and two boys, all who are now adults. Her sons, Justin and Joseph, have followed in their parents’ footsteps, with Joseph first becoming an EMT with the GMVRS and then a firefighter with the Manassas Volunteer Fire Company, where he currently volunteers. Justin recently graduated from George Mason University majoring in Criminal Justice, and is pursuing a career in law enforcement. Bill went on to a career with Northrup-Grumman and is now Director of Digital Systems, Access and Infrastructure, but recently rejoined the Squad as an Affiliate member. Mary and Bill have 8 (soon to be 9) grandchildren from their daughter’s families.
During her child-raising years, Mary returned to the classroom as a teacher, where she taught pre-school – kindergarten for 20 years, and is currently a substitute teacher with the Prince William School System.
Over the years, Mary’s interests in EMS and her connection with the GMVRS never faded completely. In 2015, the year prior to the Squad’s 50th anniversary, Mary re-joined the Squad’s Auxiliary to become involved in both the anniversary preparations and other support activities provided by the Auxiliary. However, her real desire was to “get back into the action.” So…. Mary, with the Squad’s support, re-took EMT training, re-applied and returned to the Senior (Operational) Squad in 2018. She became an endorsed EMT provider in 2019, after completing the Manassas Fire and Rescue System’s intern program. Not only does she run EMS calls as the Squad’s Lieutenant, but since 2019 has been the primary Squad Advisor to the Junior Squad and is heavily involved in the Squad’s Community Relations program (among her other duties).
When asked what motivates her and what she finds rewarding as a volunteer EMS provider, Mary said; “I really like the opportunity to have a positive impact on the lives of my patients, using my skills to help them during the short time they are under my care. Knowing I did my best to help someone who called 911, is its own reward.”