Joseph Maus is 28. It’s hard to fathom what he’s already accomplished and fun to consider what’s next. He is in his sixth year as a deputy sheriff at the Blount County Sheriff’s Office (BCSO) and holds a very unique and important job – Director of Medical Programming. Medical programming? At a law enforcement agency? Yep.
So exactly what does he do? “Sheriff (Jim) Berrong and Blount County Mayor (Ed) Mitchell decided in 2016 to allocate funding to train, certify, and equip our officers as emergency medical services (EMS) professionals to supplement their law enforcement role,” Maus said. “I was offered the opportunity to help develop and lead the program through its launch and infancy. Currently, I oversee the operational, logistical, financial, and administrative aspects of the program for more than 40 certified/licensed medical responders.”
In short, these 40 deputies are both emergency medical first responders (EMR) and law enforcement deputies – and this makes all the sense in the world when you find out that Blount County does not have a fire department that responds to medical calls in its far-flung rural footprint of a county – including the infamous “Dragon.” These deputies do respond and earn an annual $4,000 bonus for these dual roles.
The EMR deputies’ vehicles are equipped with oxygen, AEDs (automated external defibrillators), and trauma kits, and they are trained to clear airways, handle triage and even start IVs. These deputies are also attached to the SWAT team, canine units and crisis negotiators.
This BCSO program is the only one of its kind in Tennessee.
So, what else has Deputy Maus done?
- He is two semesters away from graduating from the Lincoln Memorial University Duncan School of Law.
- He earned a bachelor’s in business administration (accounting & management) from the University of Tennessee and an associate degree from Cleveland State Community College in criminal justice/police science.
- Six years ago, he married wife Hannah, a physician’s assistant in orthopedic traumatology at UT Medical Center.
- He plays the clarinet and was his high school band’s drum major at Tippecanoe High School in Tipp City, Ohio.
- He’s a volunteer mentor for tnAchieves and at their church, Vineyard Church Maryville.
- Earned his Emergency Medical Technician certification at the age of 17.
His good work has been noticed. In December, Sheriff Berrong presented him with the office’s 2020 Officer of the Year Award. In addition to the medical programming job, he also serves as BCSO’s COVID-19 coordinator and assists with training employees on the agency’s records management system and other IT issues.
In the COVID role, he makes sure there is a continuous flow of personal protective equipment (PPE) for the front-line deputies, as well as keeping up with the health and welfare of deputies as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.
Maus says he knew early on that law enforcement was his future. “I was a kid cop every year at Halloween with all of my costumes,” he remembers. “The older I got the more I knew this was going to be my life.”
What’s next? He is not planning to practice law, but wants to explore the possibility of becoming an in-house counsel for the sheriff’s office. That would be a new position as well. “I feel that having an in-house attorney on staff would be a big advantage for the department,” he said. “I’d sure like to explore it.”
Does this go-go, self-described major nerd ever slow down? Not much. Three years ago, they bought an older home in Maryville that he says is not a “smart house.” He’s busy rewiring the house himself, learning some woodworking and he built a shed, plus the painting. “You Tube is my best friend helping me do this internal rebuild and in the middle of this we’re adding a puppy to the family,” he said. “We stay busy for sure.”
So far, they have no kids. That’s on his to-do list too.
Tom King has served at newspapers in Georgia, Tennessee, Texas and California and was the editor of two newspapers. He writes this Monday column – Our Town Heroes – for KnoxTNToday.com. Suggest future stories at firstname.lastname@example.org or call him at 865-659-3562.