MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - In our First Responders segment of the year, we meet a longtime paramedic with Metro Ambulance. We take a ride with Teddy Derrick.
A paramedic for nearly 17 years, Teddy Derrick has been serving the area as an EMT with Metro Ambulance for the last 14 years. He says it began when he was a volunteer fireman.
“Never had any interest in the medical field. I just got into it and felt the adrenaline rush and enjoyed helping people. It just went from there,” Derrick says.
The life of a paramedic can be fast paced, from getting the call to being on the streets with lights and sirens. Derrick says it can be exciting, but there are tough times that come with the job. Like dealing with injured children.
“We do what we can do, what we’re trained to do, but you can’t always save everybody. That kind of hits home more than anything else,” Derrick says.
On this day, Derrick responded to a wreck with injuries on the interstate. Two children were involved. Derrick and his partner were right there with them making sure what needed to be done was done. They acted quickly and worked with the children's mother while in transit to the hospital.
“You learn to try and keep the kids with the mother because they’re terrified. They thinks something is wrong with mom or the mother thinks something is wrong with the kids. I was trying to keep the kid in contact with the mother at all times and have the mother talk to the child to let them know everything is okay,” Derrick explains.
Derrick says some of the frustrations EMTs deal with are people not paying attention or disregarding ambulances on the road. Derrick says this is illegal and difficult to deal with. After dropping patients off at the hospital, it’s straight to another call. The workload can be tremendous. Derrick says this is one of the busiest cities to work in the state.
“While everybody else is out having fun, we are working. Sometimes we don’t get to be with our families, but that’s just a part of the job,” Derrick says.
Derrick has been married for more than 30 years. He has two children, one of which is a paramedic at Metro Ambulance. As for the future, Derrick says he’s not going anywhere.
“I’m trying to stay here. This is a good place to work. If you’re new and want to come and get some real experience this is the place to be,” Derrick says.