Honoring Our Front-Line Heroes

This fall, the Scottish Rite, NMJ is honoring our first responders. Our Brothers who serve and save others truly exemplify our core value of Service to Humanity. From the September 11 attacks to the COVID-19 global pandemic, first responders have always been the front-line heroes of our communities. Each week, we’ll be sharing their stories and celebrating their service.

Meet Brother Wesley Smith Semple Jr., 32°: SWAT Paramedic

Discover more stories like Wesley’s when you request a member of our First Responders Speakers Bureau to present at one of your Masonic events.

“For as long as I could remember, I wanted to be a firefighter. I went to every parade and open house my parents would take me to.”

Brother Wesley Semple Jr.’s career as a first responder began at the age of 16 when he volunteered at the Berkeley Hills Fire Company as a junior firefighter. He completed basic training while still in high school and was advised to take a first responder medical training program to continue serving in the fire department, as a full-time role would require both first-response services and fire rescue.

After several years as a volunteer, he earned his paramedic certification while working both part- and full-time for the Berkeley Hills Fire Company. He would later go on to uplevel his medical skills by earning a Bachelor’s degree in Emergency Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh.

During his time as a paramedic and firefighter, he founded an Honor Guard for servicemen, a program he still participates in to this day.

A firefighter in uniform
Brother Wesley Semple in uniform

Brother Semple has held a wide variety of positions at his fire department beyond fire rescue, including operations and administration. Most recently, he completed five years as Fire Chief and has spent the last two years as President of the Board. His most recent assignment has tasked him with handling the supply and logistics planning for the prehospital area’s response to COVID-19.

Because of his selfless dedication to serving, he has also had the honor of presenting the National EMS Memorial Service in Washington D.C. for the last four years.

Today, he works as a paramedic for a regional SWAT team, a role he has held for 11 years, while continuing to serve the same fire department he began his career 21 years prior.

Brother Semple’s journey as a first responder has come full circle. Early in his career he was an instructor for EMS training programs. For the past eight years, he served as a State Fire Instructor. Then in 2018, Semple and two long-time co-workers started their own business, Modern Public Safety Solutions, to provide high-quality active shooter training to Fire and EMS agencies.

Brother Semple is a member of the Valley of Pittsburgh.

Thank you, Brother Semple, for your continued service, courage, and sacrifice over the past two decades.

First Responders Speakers Bureau

We have many first responders among our Scottish Rite brethren. Learn more about these brave men of courage and service in our series of profiles we will feature this fall. In fact, a First Responders Speakers Bureau has been established, and our Brothers profiled here are just a few who are available by request to present at your local event.

Visit the Leadership Resource Center where you can download the Speakers Bureau Directory which lists the available speakers in your state.