New York, NY “Help others and expect nothing in return - that was a key value ingrained in me by my parents. Another was: never let a challenge hold you back,” said George Hauck, supervisor of Total Safety Consulting (TSC)’s Health and Medical Services division. Hauck, along with his five siblings, always followed the example set by his father, a machinist and entrepreneur with a strong work ethic, and his mother, a nurse “who saw her profession more as a calling than a job.”
At 18, Hauck joined the U.S. Marine Corps, a service he long admired for its sterling reputation. Enlisting was “a personal challenge I made to myself.” For four years, he traveled the globe, from Cherry Point, North Carolina to Okinawa, the Philippines and the Marshall Islands. Hauck met and mastered the challenge, receiving multiple Meritorious Mast awards.
Following his tour of duty, he worked in a variety of jobs, seeking the most fulfilling and meaningful path.
In his late 20s, Hauck volunteered as an ambulance operator, and soon after enrolled for six months of EMT training, studying anatomy, physiology, and transport to become a certified EMT. For over ten years, he worked full-time in the field. It was a period that he also saw personal growth. Hauck married, had a son, and became a Scout Master for the Boy Scouts in Islip to help his child develop a sense of direction. He notes, with pride, that his son Andrew, now 16, became an Eagle Scout at 15, a rank usually not attained until 17 or later.
9/11 – A New Normal Begins
Everything came to head for Hauck in October 2001 – a month after 9/11.
A friend working as an occupational health technician asked if he’d be willing to help out at Ground Zero. With a sense of duty, he came on board, working in triage as the liaison between patients and medical providers. In trailers erected as onsite medical clinics, Hauck evaluated, and aided persons injured and affected by the aftermath of the attacks, often those suffering respiratory distress.
In time, he was moved out of Ground Zero and promoted to medical administrator/construction site safety liaison assigned to various construction sites. A quick study, he walked the sites and learned firsthand the consequences of failing to follow precautions, sometimes with catastrophic results.
The Creation of TSC’s Med Tech Division
Aware of Hauck’s work and the respect he was earning from industry colleagues, one of TSC’s managing principals, James Bifulco, approached him to propose that he help start a medical technician division for TSC.
“I knew of TSC as an industry leader in construction safety, a company that has a true commitment to making the industry safer. I saw this opportunity as a chance for TSC to make a difference on a broader scale,” he said.
In October 2014, TSC launched their Med Tech Division, led by Hauck. He oversees a team of Medtech providers, all professional, state certified, OSHA-30 trained EMTs and paramedics.
TSC Med Tech providers work within a designated, well-equipped treatment areas. They render immediate first aid and, using a carefully prescribed set of protocols, evaluate signs and symptoms to assess the severity of an injury or illness.
“Our mission is to save lives, to protect workers from harm, to provide immediate first aid for those injured and immediate evaluation for those who require advanced care,” said Hauck.
He said that there is a special relationship between workers and Med Tech providers. “We’re seen more as healers than authority figures. We’re not saying, ‘wear safety glasses or you’ll lose your job,’ we’re saying, ‘wear them or you’ll lose your eyeball,’” he said.
While at TSC, Hauck has broadened his expertise, receiving over a dozen certifications including: ASHE Health Care Construction (HCC); OSHA trainer; FDNY Construction Site Fire Safety Manager; MTA – LIRR Roadway Worker Protection and NYCT Track Safety Training; Certified Health and Safety Technician (CHST).
Working Collaboratively with Site Safety and Project Team
Working hand-in-hand with the site safety team, the division significantly expands TSC’s capabilities. The Med Tech team creates emergency medical response plans to work in conjunction with emergency evacuation plans.
“We completely lend ourselves to the site safety managers and the project team. There is tremendous value in a comprehensive team approach,” said Hauck.
He notes that hazards have a seasonal component: In the winter, slips on ice and snow are the greatest dangers; in the summer, the danger is from heat exhaustion and dehydration.
The Goal: Approximately 80% of Injuries Treated Onsite
Having a Med Tech provider onsite offers immediate evaluation and treatment of injuries which reduces workers compensation costs and decreases workers time away from their job.
“The goal is for approximately 80% of injuries to be treated onsite. Yet, if there’s even a shadow of a doubt that an injury is something more serious, the worker will be referred immediately to advanced care,” said Hauck.
Return to Work Program
Med Tech’s services don’t stop at the work site. TSC has created a Return to Work program. In cases where a worker must be absent, Hauck and his team follow up regularly to help manage the ongoing care off-site. This keeps the lines of communication open, improves the worker’s morale, and often speeds his or her return to work by ensuring that the proper follow-up procedures and care are adhered to. This can be a tremendous cost savings for the worker and the client GC or CM.
Help with Workers Comp and Insurance Claims; Drug and Alcohol Programs
An added service of the Med Tech division is assisting workers in filing for workers compensation and coordinating with insurance companies on filing and recordkeeping.
The Med Tech division also offers drug and alcohol testing and abuse awareness toolbox talks and safety seminars to keep workers injury-free at work and at home.
In a job that is never routine and requires constant alertness, is there a guiding principle for Hauck?
“It’s all about being there totally for others: the values of my parents, the Marine Corps. and the Boy Scouts of America, are deep within me; to do any less is not an option,” he said.