Disaster Responder Assets Network (DRAN) is comprised of men and women that have dedicated their lives to service of others. Each of us comes from different backgrounds, bringing a depth and breadth of experience that when combined creates a force far greater than the sum of its parts.
We understand that the key to successfully handling any emergency, be it natural or manmade, is to take a holistic approach. First, people must be prepared before disaster strikes, predicting what’s likely to occur in a given location and taking thoughtful, proactive steps. Second, timely action and effective connectivity is essential during any incident—its importance is magnified during large-scale events. Third, it is imperative for our community to provide mutual support after a disaster.
Therefore, our primary function is to serve as “one-stop shop” for responders seeking information and communication when it’s most needed and hardest to acquire. Our vision is to achieve that through timely debriefs and providing mental health assets to those adversely affected.
At DRAN, we believe the success of our mission is dependent on adhering to the following core values:
1. Creating safer communities through education and collaboration
2. Forging lasting relationships with our clients and partners
3. Maximizing teamwork via open communication and leveraging individual strengths
4. Upholding integrity by doing the right thing when nobody else is watching
The next major emergency is always just beyond the horizon. By working together, we can tackle them in a safer, more effective manner that preserves the public’s lives and property, all the while making our collective efforts more efficient. Please feel free to peruse our bios below to learn more about the inspiration behind DRAN.
After growing up in Russia and living in Israel, Nataly immigrated to the United States and came to appreciate the prospects of life in her new home. But those opportunities are only of value if one lives to take advantage of them. In 2005, Nataly was nearly killed in a motorcycle accident. Her lengthy recovery and the care she received along the way inspired her to do the same for others. Tying her experience to her compassionate nature, Nataly pursued nursing as a way to help people in their times of hardship. She graduated from Samuel Merritt University in 2009 with a Bachelor’s in Nursing and obtained her Master’s in Critical Care & Trauma Nursing from the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) in 2012. She has also attained national accreditations from the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses and the Emergency Nurses Association.
Nataly has worked at several Bay Area hospitals, including Stanford Medical Center. She has experience as both a ground transport nurse and flight nurse. She has been involved in disaster response since 2010 and participated in disaster relief effort missions both nationally and internationally with UCSF, Stanford Medical Center, Air Medical Group Holdings, International Medical Corps, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and American Red Cross. Nataly lives in Napa, California, the epicenter of the evacuation zones during the northern California firestorm of 2017. This episode gave her a unique dual perspective – both as a nurse working in the only operational intensive care unit in the county, and as a civilian at risk of losing her home. It also exposed to her the communications shortcomings within the existing disaster management construct. This became the genesis of the Disaster Responder Assets Network (DRAN). Nataly is excited to make emergency services more readily available, organized and managed to help those in need.
Shauna has always had a compulsion to help others. She has participated in many short-term medical and non-medical mission trips to third-world countries, before and since becoming a Registered Nurse in 2003. These experiences ingrained the importance of providing meaningful service to others. And they made her better at it, honing her adaptability and flexibility. The longer she served in various nursing and administrative roles and continued medical outreach, the more her passion grew in scope. It now encompasses disaster and mental health awareness, education, and response. While working during both the Valley and Tubbs Fires, Shauna recognized a gap between the community’s willingness and ability to connect in a meaningful way to provide needed services. An active volunteer with Team Rubicon, a veteran-founded disaster response organization, Shauna is a natural fit for DRAN. They both share a focus on preparedness, responsiveness, and supportiveness for those who are in or have experienced disaster or crisis situations.
Nate was a Police Officer and Detective with the Mesa Police Department in Arizona for twelve years. During the course of his career, Nate worked as a Patrol Officer and Gang Detective. Nate was involved in numerous critical incidents including two officer involved shootings and was diagnosed with PTSI. Unfortunately, Nate was unable to finish his career and opted for a disability retirement. Nate currently is the Executive Director for the Mesa Police Association, is the Vice President on the Board of Directors for the First Responder Support Network, and the former Public Information Officer for the non-profit group PISTLE (Post-Incident Stress and Trauma in Law Enforcement). Nate believes he can use his past experiences to help those first responders who are currently suffering through similar symptoms.
Raised in Massachusetts, Thomas graduated from the College of the Holy Cross in 1993 with a B.A. in Political Science and a commission as a Marine Corps officer. After attending Navy flight school, he moved to California to fly the AH-1W Supercobra. Thomas served as a flight leader and instructor during two shipboard deployments throughout the Pacific and Middle East. In 2000, Thomas accepted a position as a White House helicopter pilot, where he assisted in the response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks. He spent the next four years as both a pilot and an advance officer charged with developing and implementing contingency plans for presidential protection.
Thomas completed the University of Southern California’s Aviation Safety & Security Program and joined Cal Fire as their aviation safety officer in 2005. He served as the department’s lead accident investigator, human factors, and CRM instructor before spending seven years as a fire and rescue pilot in the Bell Super Huey. During his Cal Fire tenure, Thomas responded to numerous large-scale incidents, including the southern California wildfire siege of 2007 and the Lake County fires of 2015. Thomas is currently a law student at McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento, and plans to advocate for and assist those suffering from PTSI both as an attorney and in his DRAN capacities.
Eric understands how a critical incident can change someone’s life.
Eric grew up in a happy home, with parents who supported him and showed him proper values. Despite this, he succumbed to drugs. Once in their grip, he fell into a tailspin in his early twenties—his life crumbled. He was ready to give up when the Salvation Army stepped in and gave him the second chance he desperately needed. In 2001, he entered a work-therapy program in New York, seeking traction and direction. Eric awoke on September 11, unaware that his life, like so many others, would never be the same. Excused from work for the day, he went downtown to witness the unthinkable. As he watched the towers fall, he felt insignificant. He vowed to change.
When Eric speaks of 9/11, you can still hear the impact in his voice. Each day since, he has sought to be more productive, more responsible, to give back to society. He has transformed into a role model for his family, friends, co-workers and his community. After toiling in construction for years and with a new family at home, Eric chased and landed a career as a professional firefighter. He has spent the past ten years answering the call. Eric’s desire to help others in need, just as he was helped earlier in life, drives him to do more than his shift-work demands. That’s what brought him to DRAN, where he can assist fellow responders in their time of need.
Trevor began his EMS career in 1999 as a firefighter-EMT in Arizona. He earned his paramedic certification in 2002, and was later deployed as a firefighter-paramedic to the Mississippi Gulf Coast in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. During the post-disaster response, he witnessed not only the carnage and its human impact, but experienced the frustration of a woefully inadequate communication system.
In 2013, Trevor became a flight paramedic for Air Methods, Native Air Arizona. Two years later, he completed a Bachelor of Science in Business Management from the University of Phoenix. Meanwhile, he transferred to Mercy Air as a flight paramedic, where he still works in Southern California. He is passionate about helping both responders and the public, endeavoring to provide both with the support they need. With a thirst for knowledge, he is now in the midst of getting his MBA in Marketing. With DRAN, he puts his experience and schooling to use, assisting others before, during and following disasters.
Kim is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Psychotherapist in San Francisco, CA. Kim worked as an EMT for several years in Phoenix, AZ prior to becoming a Medical Social Worker at a Level 1 Trauma Center for 15 years. She has worked in many areas of adult and pediatric medicine, along with being a psychotherapist utilizing TEAM cognitive behavioral techniques with her clients.
Kim is Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) certified and helped implement a CISM response team for emergency medicine workers in a hospital setting. She has been involved with the Red Cross, Stanford, International Medical Corps and Medical Teams International as a disaster mental health clinician on multiple international and domestic deployments over the past eight years.
Kim currently works as a mental health clinician supporting a global disaster response team and providing psychotherapy to first responders. She also owns and operates a boxing program in San Francisco for people with Parkinson’s disease. She received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Social Work a Arizona State University.
Becoming involved with DRAN was a natural fit for Kim as she’s both worked as a first responder and has seen and experienced the impact of vicarious trauma, moral injuries and compassion fatigue. DRAN offers an incredible wealth of information and support and by sharing this, Kim believes an individual’s mental and emotional health can recover, remain resilient and thrive.