Derek Jones, Jr.


You can feel like you can do anything because you have the confidence from knowing that you have brothers and sisters at your back at all times.

Before anything else, family comes first. I love my mom and dad and everyone in my big family. Paramedics and firefighters come together like a family. In that type of profession, you want to trust that person to save your life if anything goes wrong.

Ever since freshman year, I wanted to play football. Marshawn Lynch from the Oakland Raiders came to practice with us the other day. Playing with a pro athlete gave me a sense of professionalism and what I am capable of doing.

In football, it’s a team, like in medicine. When somebody gets hurt on the field, the ambulance comes and the pressure is on the EMT—the whole team is counting on you. I got the opportunity through MIMS to ride along with the firefighters. Some come from the pros. I realized I can either become a football player or become a paramedic. There are similarities.

Being an EMT, paramedic, or firefighter—there is no “I” in team. You have to be a team with good communication, not be shy, and talk to people to find out the plan. You feel good knowing someone is going to live another day and the special knowledge that you are part of a team, a family.