Four Star Freightliner’s safety manager Craig Mathis has always had a passion to serve others. It’s what led him to become a state-licensed and nationally registered emergency medical technician (EMT) and volunteer firefighter for the Echo community in Dale County, Ala. But Craig says that his father had a little something to do with that as well. His dad was a wrecker and went to accident scenes to pick up vehicles, piquing Craig’s interest. Years later, Craig would find himself as a teacher, Four Star’s resident safety expert, and a hero.
Over the past 15 years, Craig has served as an emergency medical services (EMS) Assistant Chief, EMS Chief, Assistant Fire Chief, and President and Vice President of Echo Fire Rescue. He did all this while working a full-time job at Four Star Freightliner.
“It boils down to being a servant,” Craig said. “I’ve always had a servant’s attitude. Ever since I was young, I’ve always wanted to help, whether it be a neighbor or a friend.”
Craig was first hired by Four Star in 2005 and spent the majority of those years working in the parts department at the Dothan location. Craig was promoted to Safety Manager in 2021 and among many other things, now trains Four Star employees in CPR so that we can tackle emergencies at any of our seven locations. In addition to being an EMT and firefighter, he is a basic life support instructor, Emergency Vehicle Operator Course (EVOC) instructor, and teaches first aid.
“You see people at their worst possible moments and start feeling their pain and sorrow,” Craig said. “Their home is smoldering, with all their worldly possessions gone. A loved one is sick or injured and there’s panic on their face. These things will start working on you and with the volunteer becoming a dying breed, that is what pushed me to pursue my state license. I wanted to make a difference and give back to our community.”
While Craig doesn’t take many ambulance rides or fire calls now, he remembers leaving work at Four Star in the evening and being on call. He said it was a challenge to balance his EMT/firefighter and Four Star duties. Echo EMS and Fire have now hired full-time employees and they have two crews ready to work 24/7. That frees Craig up to handle administrative duties. He currently serves on the EMS board of directors, the fire department’s board of directors and is the assistant EMS chief.
How You Can Support Craig’s Cause:
Echo Rescue responded to almost 800 calls in 2022 while providing ambulance services to a variety of activities in the community. They have encountered rather large repair bills associated with their ambulances because of their high mileage. Your help is needed to assist with repairs and the purchase of a new ambulance. Donations can be mailed to Echo EMS, P.O. Box 372, Ozark, Ala. 36360. Donations can also be made online: https://www.paypal.com/donate/?hosted_button_id=KZHMG52DCLYVN If you need additional information, please call 334-432-0778.
About Four Star Freightliner
Four Star Freightliner prides itself on providing customers with world class truck products from Daimler (Freightliner and Western Star) and a full spectrum of services. It maintains one of the most comprehensive networks of dealerships and service centers in the Southeast region. There are 7 locations to support customers’ needs: Montgomery, Ala.; Dothan, Ala.; Valley, Ala.; Tifton, Ga., Valdosta Ga., Albany, Ga. and Midway, Fla. Visit us online at fourstarfreightliner.com.