Where are you from originally and what brought you to Lumberton?
I have lived in Southeast Texas most of my life. I was born in Orange, TX and have been fortunate enough to serve the region in a variety of environments and blessed to retire from the City of Beaumont. I began working at Lumberton Fire & EMS part time and was drawn by the community support and involvement while working full time for Beaumont EMS. I began my service here as a field paramedic and have been fortunate to be part of such a great team here.
What inspired you to become a medic/What attracted you to this career choice?
I began my medic credentialing in the military but was serving in a state law enforcement role when I decided to work EMS full time. I have always had a desire to serve my community and to give back to our regional community. I found that prehospital care was more personally gratifying for this desire and also provided more direct assistance to those in need of medical assistance.
How long have you been with HCESD2 and what motivated you to work here?
I started HCESD # 2 in April of 2015. I was drawn by the community support and involvement and the ability to work with a team in a more rural environment with more limited resources. The commitment of the team at HCESD # 2 and the partner agencies has been absolutely amazing and is a blessing to be a part of. Our core values of Community, Team, Integrity, and Excellence, all under the umbrella of Safety guides our teams as we continue to grow and find ways to serve our community needs.
What is your favorite part about working here at HCESD2?
One of the great things of working with such a great team is the innovation and willingness to step beyond our comfort zones. It is refreshing to see the empowerment of our personnel and the great ideas and programs that they help develop and improve upon as we continue to find ways to improve our service to the community.
If you had guests visiting SETX for the weekend, where is the first place you would take them?
I find peace and solitude in the Lakes area, so I would gravitate towards that region. It is hard to beat the combination of the Piney Woods and the lakes in my opinion.
What is your favorite restaurant in town?
I honestly don't have a favorite, they are all phenomenal in their chosen specialties. I generally eat prepared fitness meals for lunch and try to not overindulge myself.
What do you do on your days off to relax and unwind?
I have two lifestyle pursuits to help relax and unwind. I wake up almost every morning around 0430 hours and go to the gym to face my powerlifting routine. I absolutely love the challenge of the program increases, the performance matrix, and even the setbacks involved in trying to improve myself. Powerlifting is the perfect analogy to life growth to me, it isn't comfortable and even hurts, but the results are tangible, occur over time, and set the foundation for continued growth. My other lifestyle pursuit in this arena is riding my motorcycle. I absolutely love the freedom and feelings of peace this brings me. Yes, I smile and sing the whole time so just smile and wave when you see me and be thankful you can't hear the chorus!
Honestly, I am inspired by so many people in our world. If we stop and look, it is hard to not find inspiration in the achievements and challenges of others. How can you not be inspired by those who risk their lives without hesitation for others? Or perhaps the person who has overcome poor life choices and additions to flourish in society again and help others overcome their demons? Cancer patients who silently fight their battles to the death? We find what we seek, and so many people humble me through their struggles daily.
What is the next place you would like to visit? Why?
I am a workaholic and have not had a true vacation in approximately 20 years. This year I was diagnosed with cancer for the second time and told it was incurable with an extremely limited time to live. As I battle this demon, one of my regrets of course, was the lack of travel and vacations. I dream of Alaska and hope to visit one day. I enjoy the lakes, mountains and any environment where I can feel immersed in nature.
Word of advice for an aspiring medic?
Complete your education and expand as quickly as possible early in your career. Expand your comfort zones and never settle. Pursue a college degree and get your advanced degrees if possible. Get your Texas Commission on Fire Protection certification in addition to medical certifications. Pursue your Texas Commission on Law Enforcement if at all possible as well. You can never have too many credentials or too much education and never stop learning. You are our future and the hope of us all in expanding public service.