Georgia Emergency Medical Services Association

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Meet the GEMSA Board Members

Chad Black

At Large Board Member

Chad Black has been in Fire and Emergency Services for the past 32 years including 17 years in Air Medical Transport Services.  Chad retired in June of 2016 as Deputy Fire Chief after a 31 plus year career with Hall County Fire Services and has recently accepted the positon of Director for Habersham County Emergency Medical Services effective July 26th, 2017.  Chad worked both part and full time for 17 years with Air Methods Corporation, the largest Air Medical Provider in the United States.  With Air Methods, he has worked as a Critical Care Flight Paramedic, Georgia Business Manager, S.E. Regional Business Manager (GA, FL, SC, NC, AL) and 2013 and 2014 as a consultant performing work in Corporate Business and Governmental Affairs. Chad currently works for Habersham County EMS in Demorest Georgia.

Chad is a Licensed National Registry Paramedic and holds instructor certificates in Advanced Cardiac Life Support, Basis Life Support, International Trauma Life Support, Pediatric Advanced Life Support and Paramedic Preceptor. Chad also is a certified Hazardous Materials Technician and past Chief of the Hall County Fire Services Hazardous Materials Team. Chad holds over 15,000 training hours in both Fire and EMS (Ground/Air) related topics including Rope Rescue, Hazardous Materials, Incident Command, Emergency Operations Center Management and Rescue Systems to name a few.

Chad currently serves as Chair the EMS Region II Regional Trauma Advisory Committee as mandated by Senate Bill 60 that established the Georgia Trauma Commission where he represents EMS Region II.  In June of 2010 Chad was appointed to the EMS Sub-Committee of the Georgia Trauma Commission for EMS Region II and also serves on the Region II EMS  Council.  He is a past member of the Georgia Statewide Trauma Action Team, Statewide EMS and Trauma System Development Committee, Georgia Air Medical Committee, Georgia Emergency Medical Services Information Systems Committee and Advisor to the Fire Science Program at Lanier College in Oakwood, Ga.  Chad is currently back in college where he will complete his degree in Fire/EMS Business Administration.

Karen B. Grabenstein

Vice Chair
President - Educators Division

Having served on the board for the last six years and currently as the President of the Educators Division, Karen remains active in EMS and EMS education. Karen is currently the Program Director at Air Evac Statesboro, Georgia. She remains active in the EMS community by serving on EMSAC, Region 9 EMS Council, and GA EMS Leadership Alumni Board. She began her career in EMS as a First Responder in 1993 and has held many positions in EMS throughout the years. She also serves as an adjunct professor at Columbia Southern University in the EMSA program. Karen also remains involved as an American Heart and EMS Instructor and as a part-time Paramedic at Bulloch County EMS. She and her husband Fred, live in Brooklet, Ga. with their son, Kaide. 

Bengie Cowart

President - Providers Division

Bengie has been in the involved in Emergency Services for the last 26 years as an emt/paramedic and has his firefighter I and II and currently serves as Chief of Operations at Southside Fire/EMS & Security and continues to work part time with the City Of Guyton as a firefighter. Bengie has served has chairman of the EMSC for several years and remains a member of the council as well as the Chatham County EMS Advisory Council. Bengie is a member of Countryside Baptist Church where he serves as team leader of their Safety team. Bengie currently lives in Guyton, Ga with his wife Toni and daughter.

Daniel Warren

At Large Board Member

Daniel Warren is a Nationally Registered paramedic, licensed by the State of Georgia.  He is a Flight Paramedic with Air Evac Lifeteam in Tift County, Ga and is also employed part time as a Paramedic with Thomas County EMS.  He enjoys making memories with his wife Lindsey and his two sons Noah and Easton.

Daniel began his career in public safety as a volunteer firefighter with Brooks County Fire Department in 2004.  He became a career fireman in early 2006 with the City of Quitman Fire Department after obtaining NPQ Firefighter I and II certifications.  By mid-2007, he was enrolled in a private, fast-track EMT-I program at the Regional EMS Training Academy.  He graduated the program as valedictorian.  After working for two years as an EMT-I, the decision was made to further his education in the field of EMS.  Daniel graduated as a paramedic in 2009, this time finishing in the top three in his class.

Daniel began working for Thomas County EMS as an EMT in 2009 while finishing paramedic school.  By mid-2010, he was promoted to Field Training Officer/Training Lieutenant. Through these positions, he has become licensed by the State of Georgia as a Level II EMT Instructor.  In addition, Paramedic Warren holds instructor certifications in multiple pre-hospital training programs.

Daniel served as a consultant with the Georgia Association of EMS as a course developer of the Basic STEMI Recognition and Management Course.  Since its development in March of 2014, he has participated in training almost 1,700 paramedics, EMTs, nurses, and mid-levels through the program.  He has also developed the Advanced STEMI Recognition and Management Course as a continuation of the initial course.

Jimmy Carver

Board Member
President - Directors Division

Jimmy has 36 years of experience in fire and EMS. Currently, he serves as the EMS director for Harris County EMS and Fire Chief for Pine Mountain Volunteer Fire Department. He served 27 years as Assistant Director before being named director. Jimmy chairs the the Region 7 EMS Council and is the Region 7 Representative for the EMS Subcommittee of the Georgia Trauma Commission.

Robby Hill

Board Member
Vice President - Directors Division

Robby has been serving the citizens of Georgia for nearly 26 years. He began his career at Metro Ambulance Service in Cobb County for 2 years before getting the opportunity to serve in Bartow County for 16 years. Robby served in many capacities for Bartow and upon leaving Bartow was at the rank of Lieutenant. Presently he serves as Assistant Director at Floyd Medical Center Emergency Medical Services in Rome, GA. His career began at Floyd in 2008 and since being at Floyd he has served on many internal committees to enhance patient care and instill the lost art of customer service within an emergency service. He is one of the developers and present manager of Floyd’s Community Paramedicine Program that services Floyd and Polk counties. In 2016, he was a Class 5 graduate from the GAEMS Leadership Program and has since participated within the program for Class 6.  Robby is very proud to be awarded the opportunity to serve on the GAEMS Board.

Rebecca Hill

Board Member
Vice President - Educators Division

Rebecca C. Hill is currently the Director of the Community Training Center for American Heart at Georgia Piedmont Technical College. She is also the EMS Clinical Manager and the Exposure Control Coordinator for GPTC. “Becky” started her career as an Emergency Room Clerk at Newton General Hospital in Covington Georgia, in 1973. She decided that she needed more training and enrolled in the EMT program at DeKalb Tech in 1976. Becky had found her calling, she loved the excitement and enrolled in the Paramedic course at DeKalb Tech, she was only one of two females in the class.

After graduation from Paramedic class, Becky was hired by Athens General Hospital EMS. She was the first female, and paramedic that was hired by that service. After several years she worked her way back to the Covington/Conyers area and worked for Newton General EMS and Rockdale EMS.

Becky worked at Rockdale Hospital for 5 years as an LPN, then left to work for a private physician. She still missed working EMS, and went back to work for National EMS. In 1986, she started working for one of the largest EMS services in Georgia, DeKalb EMS. While working there she spends 2 years in training, but still missed the street. She went back to working the streets of DeKalb County. She had been teaching for DeKalb Tech part-time since 1986 and was still doing that while working EMS full-time.

Becky is the past President of the Georgia Association of EMS Educators and sat on the BOD for GAEMS. She is past Chairman of the Board of the Georgia Firefighters Burn Foundation and was very involved in their camp that helps burn injured children. She was the 2004 Instructor of the year, for Region 3 EMS. She holds an Associate Degree in Emergency Medicine from Eastern New Mexico University, Roswell NM. Ms. Hill is working on other educational endeavors and enjoys walking, music and reading.

Nicholas Adams

Board Member
Vice President - Providers Division

Nick launched his EMS career in 1992, when he joined a volunteer EMS agency in southwestern Virginia. Three years later, he relocated to Georgia and began serving with the Georgia Army National Guard, CareLine EMS (later American Medical Response) and Mountain Park Fire & Rescue.

In 1998, he embarked on a career with Cobb County Fire & Emergency Services where he currently holds the rank of Special Operations Lieutenant. Nick earned his Bachelor of Science—in Emergency Management—and Master of Public Administration degrees from Jacksonville State University.

A recent graduate of the 2015 GAEMS Leadership Course, Nick considers it both a privilege and an honor to serve on the GAEMS Board of Directors.  Nick lives in Marietta with his wife Emily and their two children: Ben and Ian.

Dr. Julio Lairet

Board Member
Vice President - Medical Directors Division

Jason Grady

Board Member
At Large Board Member

Jason Grady is the Northeast Georgia Regional STEMI System Coordinator as well as a cardiac cath lab technologist at Northeast Georgia Medical Center. He obtained his Paramedic Technology degree from Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in 1997 and is also an adjunct EMS educator at Lanier Technical College. As STEMI System Coordinator, Jason is involved in the oversight of a 18 county-wide STEMI system including 13 regional community hospitals involved in groundbreaking and evidence based STEMI recognition and treatment. He is responsible for the education, data collection, and reporting for the Regional STEMI system. His interests include STEMI treatment and resuscitation science. Jason and his wife Juley are the parents of 8 awesome children.

Glenn Henry

Board Member
At Large Board Member

Glenn Henry has been actively involved in EMS for for over 32 years. He became an EMT in 1979 and a paramedic in 1981. He has worked as a street medic in Athens, Georgia, and EMS Educator for Gwinnett County, and Transport Program manager for Children's Healthcare of Atlanta. He has served as adjunct instructor at Athens Technical College for 19 years and as the Program Chair for EMS & Fire Programs full time for the last five years. He holds various degrees along with a Master's Degree in Teaching and Technology.

Rafe Waters

Board Member
At Large Board Member

Rafe Waters began his EMS career in 1999 as an EMT-I with Tattnall and Toombs counties. He earned his Paramedic license in 2003. In 2007, Rafe became a licensed EMS instructor, and served as the Director of EMS Programs at Swainsboro Technical College. In 2010, he returned to Tattnall EMS, serving as Assistant Director. In 2014, he began work full-time as a Flight Paramedic with Air Evac Lifeteam 95 Statesboro. Along with this, he was asked to remain with Tattnall County EMS as Director. In 2015, he became the Director for Air Evac Lifeteam 91 Vidalia. He was recently licensed as a Registered Nurse.

Rafe is graduate of the 2013 Georgia Association of EMS Leadership Course. He is also a charter member of the Georgia EMS Leadership Alumni, helping to create and approve the bylaws. Rafe currently serves as Chair-elect for the Leadership Alumni.

Rafe currently lives in Statesboro, and he is married to Dana. They have one daughter Delaney.

Proposed Board Meeting Schedule 2018

  • February 12 - In person (Atlanta)
  • March 9 - Conference call
  • April 13 - Conference call
  • May 11-  In person
  • June 8 - Conference call
  • July 13 - Conference call
  • August 10 - In person
  • September 14 - Conference call
  • October 12 - Conference call
  • November 9 - In person
  • December 14 - TBD


For inquiries about membership, event and exhibitor registrations, or publications, contact:
Mary Napier, Communications Specialist
229-231-2109 or

For inquiries about grants, trainings and other association programs, contact:
Cathy White, Program Coordinator
678-283-4542 or

For any and all questions, suggestions or concerns about GAEMS programs and association related matters, feel free to contact:
Kim Littleton, Executive Director
229-402-2240 or

The mission of the Georgia Emergency Medical Services Association is to advocate for the emergency medical provider, develop educational programs, liaison activities, provider benefit programs, and improvements to the Emergency Medical Service System in Georgia.

Georgia EMS Association  |  386 River Point Drive  |  McDonough, GA 30252  | Contact us

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