About the founder and director

Rob Harrison and Petra Martin (codirectors of Whidbey CareNet) by Jim CarrollPetra Martin


Petra began caring for people when she was 13 months old, and her brother Tom was born. A sister soon followed, and Petra learned to size up and meet both expressed and unexpressed needs early in life. Facilitating connections between those in need and what they need became second nature.

In December of 2011, after accidents that killed four young people on South Whidbey Island, Petra realized that, although emergency responders (most of them volunteers) care for us on the worst days of our lives, there was no one to care for them. More than 30 providers agreed, and Whidbey CareNet was born. It is one of the most rewarding things Petra has ever been involved with, and she feels blessed that it came to fruition through her.

In addition to serving as founder and advisor of Whidbey CareNet, Petra is the creator and publisher of the Mixed Emotions card deck, former owner of the Whidbey Island Writer’s Refuge, on line editor at Whidbey Life Magazine, co-founder of Raise Your Resilience, LLC, and a Whibey CareNet provider or TRE®, soulmate and life partner of Leckey, and mother of teenaged son Adrian.

R. Leckey Harrison

Director, firefighter/EMT (Ret)

Leckey began his community service by taking a CPR and rescue breathing class presented by a local firefighter in Northfield, Minnesota. Two weeks later, he saved a young man who was on the bottom of a pool–the deep end. Leckey’s mind went blank, just as his instructors said it would, but when he and others finally got the swimmer out of the water and onto the pool deck, he remembered “A(irway)-B(reath)-C(irculation),” and started rescue breathing. After the event, the firefighter who taught the CPR class that Leckey attended asked if he’d like to join the fire department. Because he had a skill the community could use, he joined.

Leckey’s primary motivation hasn’t changed much over the years, except for a deepening compassion for people who are suffering. “Volunteering is a great way to feel connected, to feel like you’re giving back,” says Leckey.

Leckey accepted the invitation to codirect Whidbey CareNet because it gives him an opportunity to serve emergency responders such as himself. Having been a firefighter/EMT, he understands intimately the issues that emergency responders face, and is dedicated to helping them relieve stress, both for their own sake, and for the sake of the community they serve.

Aside from his volunteer duties with Whidbey CareNet and the American Red Cross , Leckey is co-founder of Raise Your Resilience, LLC, Whidbey CareNet provider of TRE®, studied Multimedia and Interactive Technologies at Skagit Valley College for two years, completed the  Emergency Management Professional Development course through FEMA, practices Buddhist meditation, is a krav maga student, and blogger on LinkedIn.


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