Medical Advisory Board

Dr. Kenneth Alan Totz

Executive Medical Director

Dr. Kenneth Alan Totz is an emergency physician.
Board-certified by the American Board of Emergency Medicine (ABEM)
Fellow of the American College of Emergency Physicians (FACEP)
Member of the State Bar of California
Dr. Totz earned his medical degree at Midwestern University in Chicago, Illinois. He completed a transitional internship at Portsmouth Naval Hospital in Portsmouth, Virginia, and then flight surgery training at the Naval Operations Medical Institute in Pensacola, Florida. Following Dr. Totz’s 12-year Naval career, Dr. Totz subsequently moved back to his hometown of Houston, Texas to complete a residency in Emergency Medicine at the University of Texas at Houston. In 2018 Dr. Totz earned his doctor of jurisprudence (JD) from Concord Law School at Purdue University Global. Dr. Totz became a member of the State Bar of California in 2019. Dr. Totz has been granted two medical device patents, has accumulated over 50,000 practicing hours in emergency departments throughout the United States, and has surpassed 150,000 patient contacts as an emergency physician. Dr. Totz spent 9 years as an associate professor of emergency medicine for the University of Texas at Houston Emergency Medicine Residency Program in very busy Level 1 and Level 3 trauma centers. Administratively, he spent over five years working as a medical director with First Choice Emergency Room. Presently, Dr. Totz maintains an active clinical emergency medicine practice, is very active as an emergency medicine expert witness, and serves as an independent mediator for the Texas State Office of Administrative Hearings (SOAH) resolving out-of-network balance billing disputes between patients, providers, and insurance companies.

Sharon Malone

Deputy Medical Director

Dr. Malone is a board-certified emergency physician and serves as the medical director for several urban and rural EMS departments throughout the state of Texas as well as two accredited college EMS education programs. She began EMS medical direction in 2006 and is an active member of the Texas Governor’s EMS and Trauma Systems Advisory Council, Medical Director’s Committee, which guides the development of state policy, rule, and law regarding EMS medical direction. A licensed paramedic as well as an NAEMT-TCCC provider and instructor supporting EMS and specialty teams, Dr. Malone advocates community health paramedicine through curriculum design, course delivery, and medical direction oversight of community paramedic programs. She is the medical director for Emergency Medical Task Force 2 of Texas and regularly deploys on regional and state missions.

Gregory B. Allard

After first obtaining his EMT license in 1992, Greg has served in the EMS industry for more than 25 years. In that time he has served as a paramedic, an EMS supervisor, the director of operations, and the vice president at the American Ambulance Service in Norwich, Connecticut. As a director of operations, Greg managed approximately 150 emergency medical professionals who were engaged in both emergent and non-emergent operations. When Greg became the vice president of the American Ambulance Service in 2005, his responsibilities expanded to include overseeing EMS operations, advertising/marketing, human resources, public and government relations, and contract negotiations. Greg has dedicated his career to enhancing Connecticut’s emergency medical system. He currently serves as the vice president for the Association of Connecticut Ambulance Providers and chairman of the Connecticut EMS Advisory Board. He is also the vice president of EMS PRO, Inc., an all-volunteer non-profit that is responsible for New England’s largest EMS Expo. Greg formerly served as president of the Eastern Connecticut EMS Council and the Council of Regional Presidents.

Christian D'Allaird

As a police officer, paramedic, and firefighter, Christian has a wide array of experience in public service working in various systems from 911 to interfacility. Christian began working in EMS in 2011 and is currently an NREMT paramedic as well as an AHA instructor. He became a captain at the Chili Volunteer Ambulance Service in Rochester, New York, in 2014, where his duties included managing fleet equipment and supervising personnel. Christian has spent several years working as a firefighter at volunteer departments throughout New York. In 2016 he began working for Brighton Ambulance in Brighton, New York, and in 2018 he became a full-time senior police officer in Gwinnett County, Georgia. Christian continues to work part-time for American Medical Response Dekalb in Georgia. As an instructor and first responder, Christian focuses on protecting and serving the public to improve the safety of his community.

Kuo Downing-Reese

Kuo is an 18-year veteran of EMS. She started her career in Los Angeles County serving in a variety of settings, including private ambulance, fire, and hospital ED. Kuo went to paramedic school at UCLA-Daniel Freeman. She has a degree in EMS management from George Washington University and currently practices as a full-time critical care paramedic in Rochester, New York. She also does a variety of EMS and medical training as a NY State Certified CIC, NAEMT instructor, and as an AHA regional/training center faculty. As a CareerCert instructor and contributor, Kuo provides continuing education content in multiple modalities. Whether instructing or serving in the field, Kuo focuses on facilitating quality patient care to improve outcomes.

Spencer Edwards

Spencer became a certified paramedic in 2000 and has over 20 years of experience in the fire and EMS industries. During most of that time, he has worked for two agencies simultaneously, one in a full-time capacity and the other as a part-time employee. He started his full-time career as a firefighter/paramedic and advanced to the rank of captain. In this position, he has had the opportunity to supervise younger paramedics and yet still have some time for hands-on experience. In his part-time role, he started as a firefighter/paramedic. He then was promoted to captain and shortly after that he was promoted to assistant chief. He served in that position for 6 years and gained valuable experience, including taking on the roles and responsibilities of the training officer. Spencer has a passion for teaching and learning and was an adjunct instructor for the Utah Valley University paramedic program for 5 years. In 2013, Spencer received a bachelor's degree from UVU in emergency services management. He is currently working on a master's degree in organizational leadership.

Paul Giannini

Paul Giannini started his public safety career in 1983 as a volunteer EMT in Trumbull, Connecticut, where he grew up. He became a volunteer firefighter in 1984 and attended paramedic school in 1985. While in Connecticut, he worked as a career firefighter-paramedic, training and quality improvement manager, and was an instructor at multiple EMS programs. He moved to eastern Pennsylvania in 2001, where he started a career in the medical device business while maintaining a second full-time job as a paramedic and volunteering as a firefighter. He held various leadership positions in EMS and was the business development coordinator for the critical care transport program at Lehigh Valley Health Network until 2013. In his 36-year career, Paul has held various leadership positions in fire and EMS agencies. He currently works as the director of clinical services for ZOLL Cardiac Diagnostics in Pittsburgh. He is still active in public safety as a part-time paramedic for Monroeville Fire Company #1 and Penn State EMS. He has been teaching for CareerCert since March 2016.

Melodie Kolmetz

Melodie Kolmetz is a New York State certified paramedic and Certified Instructor Coordinator (CIC) with 30 years of experience in various types of EMS delivery services, including 911 transport, fire-based first response, and fire-based transport. She is also a nationally certified physician assistant with 25 years of experience in primary care, emergency medicine, urgent care, gastroenterology, occupational medicine, and school physician services. She is currently the Director of Didactic Education and a principal faculty member in the developing physician assistant program in the school of health sciences and human performance at Ithaca College. She currently provides clinical care as part of the Rochester Regional Health Mobile Surgical Services team and occupational medicine/school physician services at Northern Star Medical, where she provides care for several of the local fire departments and EMS agencies. Melodie graduated from the Rochester Institute of Technology PA program in 1995. She received an associate’s degree in paramedicine from Monroe Community College in 2012, she received a master’s degree in physician assistant studies with a concentration in PA education from the University of Nebraska Medical Center in 2015, and she is currently pursuing a doctor of philosophy in curriculum, instruction, and the science of learning at the University at Buffalo. Melodie serves as an NAEMT regional faculty member and as a Physician Assistant Foundation Mental Health Outreach Fellow. She is certified to teach adult mental health first aid plus the additional higher education; fire and EMS; and law enforcement, corrections, and public safety modules. Melodie is passionate about community service, life-long learning, educational technology, and mentorship/sponsorship. Melodie resides in the Finger Lakes region of New York with her husband and two teenage boys.

Erica Mangers

With nearly 20 years of experience in healthcare and administration, Erica Mangers specializes in managing results-driven healthcare environments. She began her career in healthcare in 2012 working as an LPN for the University of Rochester, quickly working her way up to the role of a supervisor. Erica later worked as a nurse manager for Wesley Gardens in Rochester, New York, before becoming the executive director of Watermark Retirement Communities, where she manages 7 directors, 100+ associates, and a 213-bed facility. Erica earned both a bachelor’s and master’s of healthcare administration from SUNY Empire State College, and she currently serves on the advisory board for CareerCert as well as the Wayne-Finger Lakes Board of Cooperative Educational Services. She lives in Rochester, New York, and enjoys spending time with her husband, 3 children, and black Lab.

Amy D. Niespodzinski

Amy Niespodzinski is a FF/CCEMT-P with 18 years of experience in the field. She began as an EMT with Perinton Volunteer Ambulance Corps in upstate New York but quickly developed a passion for the service and developed a career in both patient care settings as well as a number of leadership and training settings. She served for many years at Southeast Quadrant Mobile Critical Care Unit, an ALS intercept service. She also served 12 years at Rural/Metro in Rochester, New York, as a critical care paramedic and captain. In 2012, she became a career firefighter for the Rochester Fire Department, where she currently serves proudly on the busiest engine company in the city providing fire suppression and swift water/surface ice rescue services. She is a respected leader in EMS and fire operations and training and regularly teaches fire academy classes. Amy also served 5 years on the IAFF Local 1071 Board as the first female; she held the positions of elected secretary and vice president. She currently holds a CLI certification, a number of operational certifications through the NFA and NIMS, and earned a bachelor’s degree in fire science and administration in 2015. She also has a background in personal fitness training and regularly works to bring wellness and fitness initiatives to her colleagues.

Andrew Ross

With over 18 years of EMS experience, Andrew has served in a variety of roles, including as a paramedic, training manager, instructor, assistant director, and operations manager. Beginning in 2001 as an EMT/firefighter at the same department his grandfather founded, Andrew quickly realized that he wanted to be on an ALS unit full-time, and he fulfilled that goal in 2002. Andrew went to work for a primary 911 provider in South Carolina, eventually rising to the position of lead field training officer and reserve supervisor. It was during this time that Andrew discovered his love for teaching, and he became an EMT and paramedic instructor for the same college he graduated from. Andrew later became the training manager for another EMS service in South Carolina, eventually becoming their assistant director. During this time he also served as the lead EMT instructor for the local community college, working closely with surrounding EMS services to build apprenticeship programs. In 2018, Andrew was offered a position with a multi-state private EMS service as an operations supervisor. During his time there he formalized state operations and combined three separate branches of the service into one. Then, in 2019, Andrew was offered a position in corporate education, leaving his position as operations supervisor to teach full-time. He now works as the senior education specialist of CareerCert and teaches for Central Piedmont Community College. He we recently elected to serve as a board member for the National Association of Mobile Integrated Healthcare Providers. Andrew holds an associate's degree of applied science in EMS from Gaston College, a bachelor's of science in psychology from Fayetteville State University, and he is pursuing a master's in healthcare administration from the University of Scranton. He lives in Huntersville North Carolina with his fiancee, Leah, and their daughters, Anna and Coraline.

Anne Perry

Clinical Program Director

Anne has 30 years of experience in EMS and healthcare settings. Prior to joining CareerCert, Anne was the clinical education specialist for American Medical Response and was responsible for the clinical education of all EMS Providers across the state of South Carolina. Anne began her career in EMS in 1992 as an emergency medical technician in Rochester, New York at National Ambulance and Home Care. Later in her career, she became a paramedic and a nurse. She began teaching in 1994 and has continued instructing in various roles ever since. In 2015, she began teaching phlebotomy and EKG interpretation for Bryant and Stratton Colleges and taught at the Liverpool, Syracuse, Rochester, and Buffalo campuses. In Rochester, she became the lead clinical educator in the professional skills center. She is presently the clinical program director at CareerCert and is working on her master's in nursing education. She hopes to continue impacting medical providers' skills and knowledge for many years to come. Her students in New York gave her the nickname “The Knowledge Dealer” and she considers it an honor.