CTEH Spotlight: Heath Cobb
Since starting as an environmental scientist with CTEH more than 10 years ago, Heath Cobb has steadily gained on-the-ground knowledge and experience to advance his way through our company’s ranks. Today, he serves as a senior project manager within our Toxicology Emergency Response Program (TERP), which is available 24/7/365 to mobilize to impacted sites. Find out more about Heath and his work at CTEH below:
What does an average day look like for a senior project manager at CTEH?
Every day is different, but they’re all busy. As a senior project manager, I work with my counterpart, Chase Shelby, to determine the needs within the Toxicology Emergency Response Program. I manage six project managers, as well as the employees assigned to them, to ensure they have the necessary personnel and resources to be successful. This could include anything from deploying a specialized consultant, going into the field to lead a team myself or scheduling primary and back-up managers for responses. Over the past two years, I’ve also made significant progress on several key TERP initiatives, including the revamping of our standard operating procedures. Like most employees at CTEH, I also serve periodic on-call rotations.
During your time as operations manager, you were responsible for the on-call scheduling of more than 80 full-time personnel. How has this experience benefitted you in your current role?
I’ve always considered myself an organized person. In my role as operations manager, I had to further hone this skill set. I had to know where every employee and piece of equipment within my response network was at all times so I could accurately dispatch both within minutes of receiving a call. This essentially gave me two years of “practice” for my current job. Today, I can solve logistical issues with ease and quickly direct the right personnel to the right jobs because I know the different skill levels each response requires.
You previously helped manage CTEH’s rapid responder program. What does this entail?
While I was operations manager, we quickly grew the rapid responder program from about 40 to 100 highly trained individuals across the U.S. The program is designed to help CTEH quickly expand as large projects occur. For example, rapid responders can assist with personnel rotations during long-term responses or, sometimes, begin data collection on responses while the rest of the team is in transit.
What originally led you to CTEH?
I was in my last semester at Henderson State University in Arkadelphia when one of my friends told me about CTEH. I was immediately attracted to the environmental scientist position because of the opportunities for travel. Over the past ten years, I’ve been able to hold several different roles at our company. I’ve worked hard to grow my knowledge base and learn from my peers to get where I am today.
What activities do you participate in outside of work?
When I’m not traveling for work, I enjoy spending quality time with my wife and our two children. I’m also an avid sports fan and try my best to maintain an active lifestyle by working out regularly. Recently, I was selected to be a part of CTEH’s Industrial Hygiene Strike Team. I’m one of six individuals who study detailed, response-based curriculum in preparation for taking the Certified Industrial Hygiene (CIH) exam in the future. It requires a lot of studying outside of work, but the extra effort will help me better serve our clients.
Heath wants to hear from you! Share your questions or comments for him on CTEH’s Facebook.