Union Elections

CARE officials serve 2 year terms with no term limits.


During years ending in an EVEN number the following positions are up for election:

  • President
  • 2nd Vice
  • Secretary
  • Director

During years ending in an ODD number the following positions are up for election:

  • 1st vice
  • Treasurer
  • Sergeant at Arms

Nominations are held at the January membership meetings with elections following at the March meetings. Only active members may participate. 

2020 Election Schedule


March 9-10 night Meet the Candidates night at CPPA hall from 1700-2100

Stop by and ask questions of the CARE candidates in an informal setting.


March 18-19 Voting from 1100-1400 and 1700-2100 at CPPA hall

Members may stop by and cast their vote before or during the March membership meetings, which start at 1930. Members do not have to stay for the entire meeting to vote.


Quesitons? e-mail electioncommittee@care1975.com



2020 Elections

Candidates for the 2020 elections are:


President - Paul Melhuish
Second Vice President - Sara Cohen, Steve Palek,  Aaron Bray, Justin Brick
Secretary - Christina Miller, Timothy Sommerfelt
Director - Sharon Kozel, Desmond Anderson

Candidate Bios
Aaron Bray, candidate for Second Vice President

Hello, my name is Aaron Bray and I’m running for Second Vice President on the CARE union executive board. I’ve was hired with Cleveland EMS November of 2006. During my career I’ve had several roles including EMT, Paramedic, FTO, Safety Officer, and (currently) IT Officer.


I’m running for this position to accomplish the following objectives (in no particular order):

  1. To protect employee rights
  2. To hold administration accountable to local, state, and federal regulations
  3. To fight for equipment and common-sense procedures to give employees the ability to do their job safely and effectively


I think it’s fair to say that almost everyone frustrated by the current state of the Division. I want to use my knowledge and experience of our rules, regulations, procedures, and policies to make positive changes.


Justin Brick, candidate for Second Vice President


I have been a paramedic for 3 years with the city. All I have to say is I want to make ems great again!


Sarah Cohen, candidate for Second Vice President

Hello CARE members, 

Thank you for taking the time to read up about the candidate who is the newest member of EMS. I will have been here for two years as of March, having come to EMS after a career in public and nonprofit administration. I hold a Masters of Public Administration as well as a graduate certificate in Nonprofit Management and Leadership from Cleveland State University, as well as an undergraduate degree in English and History from Baldwin Wallace University. Prior to coming to CEMS I interned with the US Department of State, the Department of Education, held a fellowship with Organizing for America, and worked for a few years with different nonprofits as a program administrator. I left the nonprofit world after realizing the parts of my jobs and experiences that I really enjoyed were more active and involved face-to-face interactions with constituents and clients. I enrolled in the EMT program at Tri-C and applied to CEMS while still in the program. 

I passed NREMT in January after finishing medic school, although I am still functioning as an EMT. Now that I am done with school, I have the time and the energy to invest in things other than the grind of work/clinical/class/repeat. I am running for Second Vice because I believe I have education and expertise to lend to CARE, and I want to see things get better. I understand that people who have been here for a career have been through worse conditions, but I still think things are bad enough to warrant improvement. My vision is for a division that doesn’t chew people up, burn them out and force them to go to another job or another career. The fact that’s how it is now isn’t good for us or good for the residents of the city; I would be happy to use the tools I have to serve in the fight to change that status quo. I know quite a bit about government, and if I can use it to help CARE be heard by city council, the mayor’s office, residents, etc., and contribute to our effectiveness in dealing with those entities, that would be awesome. 


Related Experience: 

  • Negotiations: Graduate level training in negotiations processes
  • Writing expertise: ability to state grievances in a manner advantageous to CARE members 
  • Public speaking: experience speaking to large audiences, as well as the media
  • Research: experience discerning information from legal documents and city communications

Vision for the future: 

  • Change in organizational behavior: improved atmosphere that encourages both career longevity and use of cutting-edge equipment and protocol
  • Improved Union relationships with all City Council Members 
  • Continued improvements in relationships with other city unions 
  • Improved relationship and information sharing with a variety of media outlets, including local media not currently reached such as Crain’s Cleveland and minority-specific publications
  • Increased use of social media to directly reach out to the public


Christina Miller, candidate for Secretary.


Union Thug for Hire:

Education: B.S. in Biology (cum laude), 2010, Lake Erie College EMT-P, (valedictorian) 2015, UH Parma Medical Center FTO with CEMS since 2018


Years of Service: 5 (hire date 3/2/2015)


During my tenure here at CEMS, I have always tried to be an active participant in CARE Local 1975. I have volunteered as an EMS standby medic for Tackle the Tower, played on the softball team, and have attended as many of the “group outings” as I have been able to. Over the last couple of years, our board seemed so strong, and I didn’t want to interfere. When Marilyn announced that she wanted to step down as secretary, I thought this would be an excellent opportunity to step up and participate more directly.

As I approach my five-year anniversary date with CEMS, I have been here long enough to have an idea as to how things operate, but not so long that I have not lost my perspective. I will work hard to ensure “veterans” and “newbies” alike will feel included and heard.

As secretary, I will strive to keep communication as open and transparent as possible. I understand the restlessness that our members often feel when we aren’t given updates in-between meetings. I would like to establish and send a monthly newsletter, which would include relevant updates, a “cliff notes” version of the previous meetings’ notes, and include a small section that would list hire anniversary dates for our current members.

Additionally, I want our members to know that I have absolutely zero interest in taking any sort of promotional exam. I am a street medic through and through, and will continue to operate as such for the next 15-20 years. I strongly believe that board members should operate strictly as representatives of the membership, and should absolutely not be used as a means to a promotion to Captain.

In closing, I hope to become part of the union board in order to help make a positive and lasting impact for our members. I will work tirelessly to ensure that our union will meet its objectives.

In solidarity!


Timothy Sommerfelt, candidate for Secretary


Professional Experience:

  • CEMS Paramedic since 2007
  • FTO since 2011, current Ohio Assistant EMS Instructor
  • Associates in Applied Science in Fire/EMS studies from the University of Akron
  • Founder, Gordon Square CPR program, which provides free CPR/Stop-the-Bleed training and places AEDs throughout the community.

Union Experience:

  • Conducted a nationwide study to determine the lifespan of an ambulance
  • Created a Wikipedia page for Cleveland EMS
  • Wrote an op-ed in the Cleveland Plain Dealer in defense of CARE members.
  • As a Union Steward, created the CARE Facebook page (which currently has over 1,000 followers), and currently moderates both the Facebook and Twitter accounts.
  • Drafted reports covering topics such as the EMS fleet, run statistics, and city budgeting. Many of these reports can be found under the Historical Statistics section of the CARE website.
  • Lobbied policymakers on behalf of CARE, including councilmembers and Senator Sherrod Brown.
  • Worked with Tri-C to establish a paramedic program centered around the CEMS schedule that utilizes CEMS as a clinical site.
  • Participated in Union events, including Tackle-the-Tower, Stop-the-Bleed table at street fairs, and the softball team.

Goals for the future

  • Streamline and professionalize CARE communications across all platforms, including both e-mail and social media, with the goal of providing consistent, accurate, timely, and well-worded releases that keep the membership informed on key issues.
  • Revamp the CARE website to present a more professional appearance.
  • Continue to grow the CARE social media presence.
  • Work with other members of the executive board to implement methods for remote participation in union activities, including online voting and utilizing online surveys to gather opinions from the membership regarding key issues.
  • Solicit additional photos for the CARE historical photos database to help preserve the history of CARE and Cleveland EMS.
  • Continue to use statistics derived from member input and public records requests to generate unassailable reports that can be used to both lobby decisionmakers and in future negotiations.
  • Advocate that CEMS reimburse employees for the cost of paramedic education.  
  • Advocate for powerloaders, pit-crew CPR training, and mechanical CPR devices.


Sharon Kozel, candidate for Director


Hello my name is Sharon Kozel and I am running for the position of Director.  The director’s role is not only that of “party planning”, but bringing people together and developing bonds that will last a lifetime.  I take pride in my work and enjoy seeing people smiling and having a good time.  Planning a successful event allows me to show the love that I/we have for you in return for your hard-work.  I enjoy everything from seeing you “boogey” on the dancefloor to participating in community events.  I like getting to know each and every one of you. We work hard and should play hard!


BACKGROUND – I was hired with CEMS in December of 2005. I became a Paramedic in 2008. I became a FTO in 2010. My first position on the board was that of Treasure in 2012. Over the past 8 years I have held the position of either Treasure or Director, excluding one year I took off while pregnant. I have been a PEER since the start of the program.


PAST EVENTS – The yearly events I have played a major role in planning are the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, the “You’re Knott Alone” golf outing and the Christmas Parties. We were able to have a Christmas party for both A and B shift the past 2 years. I have organized multiple Charity events over the years. I have made it a point to allow the members to pick charities that are close to their heart. I have planned community events including the Stop the Bleed campaign and Gun Lock disruption.  Last but defiantly not least, I organized coed softball in 2019.


GOALS - My goal if elected will be to do smaller events throughout the year. Instead of doing a summer sport I would like to put that money towards a summer picnic. I think it will be more conducive to organize a team sport in the fall. I would also like to continue to help organize our future sit-ins and or parades we may do. I humbly ask for your vote in March to allow me to serve you for 2 more years.


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