"I wish to work miracles" -Leonardo da Vinci
"I wish to work miracles" -Leonardo da Vinci
My mastery spans a wide range of roles, including public health, emergency medical services, disaster response and emergency management, higher education, leadership, and management.
My extensive research and experience has made me a leading expert in a number of health, mental health, and emergency medicine topics, and I am well known for my ability to create engaging, multi-media and multi-platform materials, as well as interactive educational presentations. My skills in blending anthropological study with emergency medical knowledge have enabled me to design and develop industry leading interdisciplinary research methods, and my management and administration experience have supported training and degree program development, course design, and leadership in variety of venues.
My purpose is to foster health and wellness, delay the Grim Reaper's arrival, spread the joy of learning, affect positive social change, and pave the way for future progress and innovation. I want my legacy to be that I made the world a little better place than I found it. I want to have mattered.
Education and health are a right, not a privilege. Our unique human differences are strengths and sources of knowledge to be drawn on, not suppressed, or discriminated against. We must have a world that is environmentally healthy, with sustainable energy and decisions and actions are informed by scientific rigor. A place populated with empathetic, kind, and just people who aspire to improve the lives of all and eliminate disease and disability. A place free of suicide. A place we all feel we belong.
I value being the person I am, not what I think others want me to be. How I present, myself is how I am. I once had someone say to me, in surprise, “You’re the same way on emergency calls that you are when you’re not working as a paramedic.” No matter where I am, I’m the same person—bad dad jokes and all.
A large part of my authenticity is an internal locus of control, sharing my honest thoughts and observations (even if they are not comfortable to discuss), and having the courage of my convictions to stand up for what is just and fair. Equality is not always fair, and fair is not always equality. I have learned that, in the short term, having integrity does not always win me the battle, but the war is what I am focused on. I believe karma is a “thing.” I have persistence and determination, especially in the face of adversity. My occasional righteous indignation towards great injustices has sometimes been mistaken for self-righteousness. There is a big difference between the two, and I make no apologies for the latter.
I believe in the value of education and in always continuing to learn. The more I learn, the more I find out I do not know. This is the beauty of learning. Yes, I have, as my best friend would say, “enough degrees to give out instead of candy on Halloween.” Still, one does not necessarily need a formal education to be considered educated. I often learn as much or more from my students than they have learned from me. Learners bring value emanating from the richness of their life experiences, cultural backgrounds, and unique perspectives. Show me a person who is well-traveled, and I will show you an educated person. I travel as often as I can and encourage others to do the same.
I have and will continue to make mistakes. I own up quickly to my errors, set things right to the best of my ability, and learn from these valuable life lessons. I may not always control a situation, but I can control how I respond to it. It is often not the destination but rather the journey that matters.
I value a healthy imagination, linking concepts from many disciplines, and a willingness to embrace uncertainty and ambiguity. We can get novel ideas from anywhere, which is perhaps why I like reading science fiction as much as science textbooks. I believe that art inspires discovery and that discovery inspires art. Creativity allows us to innovate and find solutions to all kinds of challenges. Creativity injects fun into learning and action.
"I've known Chris for about 3 years now but it feels like much longer; he's just that kind of person you immediately connect with. He is a Certified Psychological Autopsy Investigator and worked diligently for 15 months on my brother's psychological autopsy. He showed us incredible compassion, sensitivity, and knowledge, and we could tell he genuinely cared about the work he was doing for us. In the end, he gave us more answers than we ever thought possible. We are forever thankful for his work. Chris really, really, knows his stuff. It's impressive! Thank you, Chris!"
"What an incredibly well organized and well written report. Congratulations on your renewal."
Chris Sandwell, MS, LPC, NCC, CCTP, PAI, CSC
Director of Accreditation, Training and Certification
American Association of Suicidology
Presentations on suicide and related phenomena
"Hearing Dr. Caulkins speak is always inspiring and educational. My staff and myself have benefited so much that we have asked him back 3 times now and plan to have him back again in the future!"
Laura Novitsky, MS, LPCC
Adult Community Based Clinical Manager
Nystrom and Associates, LTD./Family Support Services, Inc.
"I would love for Caulkins to come again and speak in further depth about his research. I enjoyed his presentation very much. I would love to learn more about how to break the stigma without 'promoting' suicide."
Fernanda Romer, EMT
President of EMSSA
Inver Hills Community College
"Was absolutely eye-opening! With some personal experience and some personal research, it was very educational. I look forward to looking into this organization and seeing what I can do."
"Again, many thanks for your excellent presentation and terrific Q&A. Your eagerness to talk about suicide and associated research is contagious and inspiring."
Brian Nerney, PhD
Professor, School of Communication, Writing and the Arts
Metropolitan State University
"This was a very educational presentation for a topic that is difficult to talk about. I really admire you for what you've been through and your willingness to educate others."
"Very - very well done! This guy knows his subject matter."
Tom Evenson, Battalion Chief
Plymouth Fire Department
"Interesting insights into the data/research--makes it more "real."
"Thank you. What a powerful event. You shared excellent resources and knowledge on the panel. I am so appreciative of our meeting way back at Simley H.S. for the Ripple Effect."
Merri Guggisberg, Youth & Family Education Coordinator
Youth Service Bureau
"Thank you so much for coming to present at Grand Rounds. Your presentation and expertise were well received and appreciated. It was a pleasure having you on campus. I think all who attended benefitted greatly."
Jessie Faue, RN
Suicide Prevention Team
Minneapolis Veterans Affairs Hospital
Emergency Medical Services Education & Tutoring
"I wanted to write you that I am officially a medic! Secondly, I wanted to thank you for the time, patience, and words of encouragement during our advisor meetings. [It] helped give me the strength and motivation to keep going. I truly appreciate your dedication to the EMS field as well as academic excellence. I know I have a great base to build my paramedic career on, and you were a large part of that. Thank you again, and I look forward to seeing you out there!"
"As a career firefighter, during the midst of a global pandemic and at the end of paramedic school, I was met with the challenge of passing the NREMT-P. I had just finished up a year of mostly online learning due to the pandemic, with very limited clinical and hands-on practice experience. My initial education, unfortunately, had many bumps along the road where teachers regularly called in sick, jumped between topics, and lacked any organization. After taking the NREMT-P written three times and failing, I had taken a refresher and was eager but nervous to get back to testing. I had then been introduced to Dr. Chris Caulkins, who I can not say enough about. Chris dug deep into the roots of my education, experiences, and preparation to see where I could improve before taking the exam again. Chris did everything he could to work around my schedule and create a rigorous plan for me to be successful at the NREMT-P. Chris worked with me a countless amount of hours, where it began to seem there was nothing else that could be studied. He worked with me as a team to conquer the knowledge, skills, and confidence to pass the exam. Throughout my entire testing process, Chris stood right by my side. He worked with me to tackle interpreting the questions piece by piece to guarantee any details hadn't gone unnoticed, under, or overthought. He coached me to beat an enormous amount of test anxiety and fear of never being successful at becoming a paramedic. I truly feel that without his help, I would not be the paramedic that I am today. I know that I will remember things he has taught me for my entire career. My entire experience with Chris was rewarding. I feel that it has not only made me a good paramedic but also made me better as an individual. I would highly recommend Chris to anyone."
Casey Kamm, FF, NRP
Grand Chute Fire Department
"Chris is an amazing educator, coach, and mentor! But beyond that, he cares about individuals as more than just tutoring students. He can close any student’s educational gap(s) in all levels of emergency medical services training. He also effectively diagnoses other challenges of environmental, mental, and emotional types and coaches people through those. This combination doesn’t just produce people who passed an exam but people who are better for the experience in their mental health, personal habits, and EMS practice. Our department engaged him in tutoring services for dedicated firefighters with promising futures who struggled to pass the NREMT-P written exam. He partnered with them to give them the tools and support necessary to be successful with the exam, but also in their approach to paramedicine and future learning."
Kelly Hanink, Assistant Fire Chief / Fire Marshal
Grand Chute Fire Department