I joined Claylick Fire August 6th, 2002 at the age of 16. I had been interested in joining the department for some time and mentioned it to my boss at the time, Dwight Corlew. On a trip to White Bluff to pick up parts for a piece of farm equipment one summer afternoon, Dwight spotted Chief Dwayne Westcott’s truck parked at the Claylick building. Dwight took me in and introduced me to Chief Westcott. We all sat and chatted for a while, went over some paperwork that would need to be filled out, and discussed what would be required of me. Chief gave me a date and time to show up for a class at the building to kick off my Claylick career. At the time I joined, even though I was under 18 years of age, I was able to start being an active member with little restriction on what tasks I was able to perform. It didn’t take long for me to become an addict. After a short time serving my local community, I decided to make the fire service my career. I started school at University of Tennessee at Martin for engineering. I immediately joined a department in West Tennessee while I was there. I soon realized my real calling and started with EMT school then became a Paramedic while working for Dickson County EMS. I took every fire department related course that I could. I couldn’t get enough and was always looking for ways to improve processes, procedures, and responses at Claylick. I began to teach CPR and quickly became an instructor for First Responder and basic fire classes. I discovered a love for educating and still actively pursue opportunities to teach. I moved up in the department rather quick from junior firefighter, to training, to Asst. Chief over medical, and made a lateral transition several years ago into my current role as the Asst. Chief of the department. I am also fortunate enough to spend my days working at the City of Franklin Fire Department as a FF/Paramedic at station 2 and in the ER at Horizon Medical Center in Dickson a few days a week. My time in the fire service has made me appreciate how fragile life can be. I’ve seen families lose everything in only a moment’s time, mothers lose sons and fathers lose daughters, and so on. I watched my granddad take his last breaths as Captain Burns and I worked him with every ounce of effort we had awaiting a delayed ambulance response. CPR, multiple defibrillation attempts from an AED, and years of training couldn’t get him back. I have never felt more helpless. Since that day, my life’s goal has been to improve emergency services to every nook and cranny of my county and beyond. This drive led me to my current position as President of the Emergency Responders Group of Dickson County. This organization is a cooperative effort to improve services across the board through training, education, and cooperation. I would encourage anyone interested in volunteering to hook up, not only with our family at Claylick Fire Department, but any of the fire departments near you. It’s a blessing to be able to serve your neighbors as we do and truly make a difference in the lives of those around you. I am working in my 12th year at Claylick and look forward to sharing my passion with my brothers and sisters there for years to come. Chief Westcott and I, as well as the board of directors, and other officers have an optimistic outlook on our future and invite anyone to come be a part of that with us. I look forward to serving you or serving with you in days to come. I would like to pose a question to anyone reading this: If you or your family were trapped in a burning house or crashed car, or suffering a major medical emergency when SECONDS matter, who would you get when you dialed 911? The answer would be no one if it wasn’t for the dwindling number volunteers who have committed to putting you ahead of themselves and their families on a daily basis.
Serving Since: August 2002