February 01, 2011

Emergency responder will share his experiences

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Rob McCaskey has been up close and personal with some of the world’s most harrowing and tragic natural disasters.

The Southern Illinois University Carbondale alumnus and Coast Guard lieutenant returns to his alma mater in early February to share his story. McCaskey will speak at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 8, in the lower level of Grinnell Hall on the SIUC campus. Everyone is welcome at “Rescue Me.”

McCaskey is a 1992 graduate of the University, earning his bachelor’s degree in administration of justice. While attending SIUC he was a resident assistant at Schneider Hall.

He initially enlisted in the Illinois Army National Guard in 1986. While enlisted personnel and later as a warrant officer he served as an infantry rifleman, military police officer and UH-1H helicopter pilot. He transferred to the Coast Guard in 2000.

During his Army and Coast Guard career, McCaskey has flown more than 2,700 hours in helicopters and responded to a number of natural disasters, including seven different flood events in the U.S. He assisted in the aftermath of the two most recent Red River floods in North Dakota and five other Midwest floods. He was an emergency responder to Hurricane Katrina and the 2010 earthquake in Haiti.

McCaskey is currently chief of incident management for the Coast Guard Upper Mississippi River Sector in St. Louis.

University Housing and Saluki First Year are sponsoring McCaskey’s presentation. For more information, contact Elizabeth A. Scally at 618/453-5632.