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Alabama Paramedic Gets Top Honor

Gordon "Don" Wilson says it is an honor to be named as Alabama's Paramedic of the Year, but his job gives him fulfillment every day.

Wilson received the award at the annual Emergency Medical Services conference.

"The award is nice and I appreciate that they recognized me, but the job is not about one person," Wilson said.

He said he always had thought it would be hard to vote for one person because EMS involves a lot of people with one goal.

"And that is to save a person's life," he said.

Wilson recalled a recent incident in which a crew of medics worked with an unconscious woman.

"We were able to get her back and her little girl tugged on one of the medics' leg and she said Thank you for saving my mommy,'" Wilson said. "There is no better reward than that."

Wilson has been a paramedic since 1980 and received a degree at Gadsden State.

When he first chose to go to college to become a paramedic, he said, it was because he thought it would be a good career choice.

"I've always wanted to have a job where I can help people," Wilson said. He has been employed at the Gadsden Fire Department since 1985.

"I then knew it was my calling," he said. "I have really enjoyed it."

Wilson also has worked part time for three years as a flight paramedic with LifeSaver helicopter based in Rainbow City.

He teaches classes for other paramedics throughout the state.

They consist of trauma, cardiac and difficult airway classes.

At Gadsden Fire Department he serves as the EMS supervisor and is in charge of training and supplies and other aspects of the emergency medical services provided by the fire department. He is the EMS representatives on the state advisory board for the Professional Association of Firefighters.

Wilson and his wife live in Hokes Bluff. They have four children.



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