Building cabs – and saving lives
During the day, Kevin Haldeman works on one of the lines at Macungie Cab & Vehicle Assembly where the Mack brand is built. He really enjoys his work.
However, for a few nights every month, he switches roles to work as a volunteer emergency medical technician (EMT) for an ambulance corp. He is also involved in providing first aid at the plant.
The truck plant in Macungie in the state of Pennsylvania in the USA is the only plant within the Volvo Group’s trucks operations which produces complete trucks carrying the Mack brand name. Kevin Haldeman, who is 37 years old, has been working here for 10 years. The story of the way he got his job is somewhat unusual.
“Prior to this job, I worked at a printer’s shop. I liked it, but I started to look for another job. This plant was hiring and I was one of the people interviewed and tested. Then I never heard from them, but I knew there was a hiring freeze,” Kevin says.
“Five years later, I received a call from them and was asked if I was still interested. I was and I have never regretted changing jobs,” he continues.
Macungie is a large plant, with more than 1,600 employees and almost 1,300 of them work in production. Kevin works on cabs on the L line at final assembly. His work station is the last on the line.
“I think this is one of the best jobs on the line. I have worked on many stations, so I can compare. I spend about 10 minutes on each cab and it’s my job to check that everything is OK before the cab moves on to the chassis line.”
The list of all the things Kevin has to inspect and then record on the computer is long. If something is missing or needs adjusting, he makes a note of it.
Why do you like this work station?
“To work this station, you have to learn a lot about how cabs work and understand all the specifications large customers have ordered. That makes my job interesting and people on the line often come and ask my advice. Sometimes, I also help the people at repairs.”
Kevin gives the impression of being calm and collected, a person who does not give in to stress easily. This mind-set is useful when he works as a volunteer EMT driver for the EMS (Emergency Medical Services) in the Allentown area.
“The EMS is a non-profit organisation. In this area, we have three ambulances and we respond to 911 calls. I work as an EMT one night a week and I am also the assistant chief and help to run the service,” explains Kevin.
What happened the last time you were on EMT duty?
“First, we had a heart attack and then we had a child with breathing problems. They both survived, thank goodness. It’s always particularly worrying when children are involved.”
In addition to the opportunity to help fellow human beings, working as a volunteer gives Kevin the opportunity to learn more about health care, which is one of his main interests. It also benefits his colleagues at the plant. He is a member of the plant’s Medical Emergency Response Team (MERT), another volunteer activity.
“I have my first-aid bag next to me at the work station. My supervisor, Melissa, knows that I have to leave immediately if I get a call about an accident or incident in the plant. She just says ‘Go, we’ll fix it’ and makes sure that someone takes over my work on the line,” adds Kevin.
Have you ever thought about changing professions and perhaps working full time on health care?
“I sometimes think about it, but I like my job here and now. When health care is an interest and a hobby, you could say I have fun with it. I’m not sure if I would like to do it all the time.”