Monica Zech is a Public Information Officer for an East County City in San Diego County, including police and fire departments. In addition, she is also the City’s Safety Educator. But, she is available to deliver her life-saving lectures by request outside the City.
More details below…
A native San Diegan, Monica first began her career as a news reporter in 1974, but in 1984 she became San Diego’s first female air traffic reporter & first Television traffic reporter for the Automobile Club of Southern California, later for Metro Networks. During her 18 years as a traffic reporter, she most enjoyed her work “off the air” in providing safety education for schools, civic groups, military bases and for major companies. Her talks were such big demand she used all her vacation time to speak!
Safety became so important to Monica, in 2001, she left the world of broadcasting to become the Public Information Officer, Safety Educator & Fire Safety Specialist for an East County Fire Department. In July of 2005, she became that City’s Public Information Officer, but still handling the City’s safety education. Safety education continues to be Monica’s passion & mission today – on and off the job!
After 29 years in news, switching careers from broadcasting to the fire department was a dramatic career change, but Monica felt her prayers had been answered to have a job that allowed her to provide safety education “full time” and to proudly represent and work directly with firefighters and law enforcement.
(Driver Safety) It was in 1984, during her first months as a traffic reporter, Monica began her work and passion for driving safety thanks to her safety research with local emergency personnel (paramedics & firefighters), trauma room surgeons, the medical examiner’s office, police traffic investigators and with a variety of safety organizations. That research continues today!
It was due to this research that Monica quickly saw the crucial need to add safety education to her on-air traffic reports, and to provide driving safety lectures in the community. As a result, the demand for her lectures spread to not only schools & colleges, but to major companies, and military bases “locally – and now Nationally!
Monica also loves speaking to parenting groups, driver education classes and to traffic schools.
“Stay Alert – Stay Alive” lectures: Among the top safety issues Monica addresses in her presentations; the dangers of distracted driving – such as texting, aggressive driving & road rage; driving under the influence of alcohol and other drugs, motorcycles, and pedestrian safety. Monica speaks to all age groups, especially to teens and adults.
(Speaking As A Victim) No need to bring in another speaker to cover the victim’s perspective. Sadly and ironically, on June 5th, 1992, her work in traffic safety took on an even deeper meaning when her own father, was struck and killed by a drunk driver as he legally walked across a street near their family home in La Mesa. He was only 63 years of age.
But, lightning can strike a family twice, when in February of 2005, Monica’s 25 year-old daughter was struck and injured by a 17 year-old unlicensed D.U.I. driver. It was due to her daughters’ alertness and quick actions, she was able to avoid a direct side impact to her driver’s side. A year later her daughter became a paramedic and married!
(Yet another perspective as a victim…) On August 29, 2003, Monica was the victim of a STOP sign runner – a collision that almost paralyzed her. Injuries from this collision have resulted in numerous surgeries. These personal experiences have added to her talks. But she is quick to note she speaks on behalf of all those injured and killed in preventable crashes.
Monica provides an emergency agency and personal perspective on what it takes to be safe! Her presentations can work with your time frame, as key-note speaker, or for your safety briefing or conference, from a 30 minute talk, up to a three hour presentation – or longer if needed.
During her 29 year broadcast career, it was in January of 1984 that Monica became San Diego’s first female airborne traffic reporter for the Automobile Club of Southern California. After just a few months, Monica then became San Diego’s “first” Television airborne traffic & news reporter for local network affilates of NBC and ABC. It was quite an honor and accomplishment for Monica’s broadcast career to have the rare opportunity of delivering traffic and news coverage for two Television stations and some ten radio stations during morning and afternoon commutes.
In that first year of reporting from the air, Monica was the first airborne reporter on scene for the San Ysidro McDonalds massacre. She reported non-stop, for an hour and 45 minutes, until SWAT Team snipers fired the last shot to end the siege. She received a Golden Mike and two San Diego Press Club awards for her reporting.
Monica’s dedication to safety has been recognized by others in the community. In 1995, Monica was asked by then San Diego Mayor Susan Golding to be a member of the Mayor’s Transportation Demand Appeals Board.
(See Monica’s list of awards, in the awards section of this website.)
Research: In 1998, Monica’s work was recognized nationally when she received a call from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in Washington D.C. to help as a consultant, researcher and educator on a committee to address the growing problem of “aggressive driving & road rage.” As a result, Monica began educating her audiences on ways to reduce the stress of driving…and how to deal with “road rage.” She also addresses the problem of “Red Light Running” and the essential need of “RED Light Photo Enforcement.” Recognizing her efforts, the National Campaign Against Red Light Running, also in Washington D.C., named Monica their San Diego spokesperson in 2001.
For more than 30 years (since 1984) Monica has been an injury prevention speaker and researcher on “traffic safety.” Aside from her expertise in driving safety, she speaks on variety safety issues from fire safety to disaster preparedness, and is a motivational speaker on careers in the Emergency Medical Services (EMS).
Contact: If you would like to arrange for a safety presentation please contact her. Email your request (or questions) to: email@example.com, or call her direct at (619) 219-9030.