Michigan Senior DeMolay Frontline First Responder

Hello all, my name is Jonathan Premo. I am a Senior DeMolay from Clifford C. Reeves Chapter, and I currently work as a Registered Nurse with Greenfield Health Systems.

“Let your lives so shine before men, that they may see your good works…”

Ceremony of Light

What it means to me to be a DeMolay?

“I cannot begin to tell you how much DeMolay has affected my career path. I have worked in retail, in the military, in healthcare, and even at a living history museum, and in all of my endeavors, I have quickly risen to a position of leadership, even at times when my position was not typically thought of as such. The ability to work as a team, which is inherent to the DeMolay experience will quickly identify you as a person who can be relied upon to fulfill you promises. Taking a part in the ritualism of our Order enables us to easily speak to shareholders, customers, coworkers, and leadership; this simple thing creates a sense of trust in you and your capabilities. Being able to plan an event – knowing the “who, what, when, where, why, and how of a thing” – becomes central to effecting change in the workplace and improving the quality and efficiency of the work. DeMolay has a way of creating effective leaders, even when we don’t notice that it is changing us for the better.“

Some things about being a first responder.

“COVID 19 has been a challenge.  With the onset of this pandemic, management was not worried at all. Then, as the number of infected began to rise, things began to change quickly in my Unit.   Personal protective equipment (PPE) which we always had in abundance became scarce.  The entrances of the unit became screening stations.  Masks, which were previously only used when changing catheter dressings, began to be worn at all times.    The staff and the patients were scared and unsure of how events would unfold.  At my unit, we made important changes: All patients wear masks while in the building, dialysis chairs are spaced 6 feet apart during treatment, hand-washing was made a part of a patient’s entrance into the unit, we began to do more frequent temperature taking before, during, and after treatment, we created areas for isolation – if someone showed up with symptoms.  As a nurse, it meant that I had to stay up-to-date on the latest information, so that we could effectively teach our patients (and ourselves) the risk and how to minimize it.  As a leader in the unit, I offered to treat those patients who were symptomatic and those who had tested positive for COVID 19.  This meant changes at home, different sleeping arrangements, eating in different spaces, distancing from the kids.  While these changes may seem a little extreme, as a potential carrier, passing the virus to my family is not an option.”

Words of wisdom.

“In times like these, I am reminded of a line from the opening ceremony, “Let your lives so shine before men, that they may see your good works…” We have an opportunity, as DeMolay, to be a light in these times of darkness.  Be positive, don’t give into the negativity that we see and hear on social media, wear a mask when you are out to protect the people around you, wash your hands and be safe.  Thank you to all of you who are keeping us going, whether you are working fast food and feeding us, or stocking a store, or giving people rides or any of the thousand other jobs that may not seem “important” but are allowing us to improve the lives of those around us.”