Jim Yvorra dedicated his life’s work to the fire and emergency medical services. After graduating from Indiana State University (Pennsylvania) with a degree in English and journalism, he began his career in 1974 as the EMS training coordinator for Lycoming, Tioga and Sullivan counties in Pennsylvania.
In 1976 he moved on to the Maryland Fire and Rescue Institute where he was a Senior EMS Instructor. His leadership style and personal commitment to his profession helped many young men and women begin successful careers as EMTs and paramedics at a time when the profession was just developing.
In 1978, Jim combined his talents in journalism and emergency services by joining the Robert J. Brady Company as editor of fire and EMS publications. While there, he was responsible for producing an impressive list of publications, including Emergency Care (third edition), First Responder, Trench Rescue and Investigating the Fire Scene.
After six successful years with the Brady Company, he formed Peake Productions in 1983 to focus on specialty topics. In just five years, his company produced Alan Brunacini’s, Fireground Command for the National Fire Protection Association, and Fire Protection Publication’s Hazardous Materials: Managing the Incident, which he co-authored.
Despite his academic background, Jim Yvorra was a hands-on kind of guy. He served as an active volunteer with the Berwyn Heights (Maryland) Fire Department and Rescue Squad for 11 years holding every rank through deputy chief and president. He was also a founding member of the Prince Georges County (Maryland) Hazardous Materials Response Team and held the position of shift officer. He was a friend, teacher, coach, and mentor to many.
Jim was a serious student of management and leadership, and believed the individual could make a difference. His personal accomplishments set an example for others to follow.
On January 29, 1988, Jim died in the line of duty when he was struck by a car while operating on an accident scene on I-495 at Good Luck Road.
The Yvorra Leadership Development Foundation was created in Jim’s memory to promote leadership development among members of the fire, hazardous materials, and emergency medical services communities.