MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - In First Responders we meet Metro Ambulance paramedic and crew chief Howard Elkins. Elkins has been involved in helping others for nearly thirty years.
“I like taking care of people who truly need it. It makes the job fun and exciting,” Elkins says.
Howard Elkins has been with Metro for 13 years. He started his career in public service as a volunteer firefighter in Scott County.
“I was an EMT with the fire department and some of my friends, Teddy Derrick being one of them, were going to paramedic school and gave me a call to do it. Now, here we are,” Elkins says.
Elkins says there are many downsides to the job. They include working on children and seeing them injured.
“Over the years I’ve worked several of those who have been seriously injured. Some of them fatally injured. It’s just hard when you have kinds of your own to deal with that. To continue going through the process, even though you’re looking at this child thinking it could be yours,” Elkins says.
Elkins says the rewarding moments of being a paramedic come when he sees someone he has helped in the past.
“Week or a month later you see them out at Walmart or somewhere else. They walk up to you and say, ‘Hey, you were that guy that pulled me out of that car that night.’ Or, ‘got me out of the house when I had that stroke and I’m doing great!’ Stuff like that makes it worth it,” Elkins says.
Elkins has four daughters. He says they all have some interest in helping others.
“I have a pharmacist, a nurse, one planning to become a doctor and another one in middle school,” Elkins says.
Elkins says he plans on continuing a career as a paramedic for as long as he can.
“We try to treat people with respect and dignity. A lot of times we don’t get that in return. We strive really hard to do the best we can,” Elkins says.
To stay up to date with our First Responders series tune in every Sunday night for Newscenter 11 at 10:00 p.m. and on Good Morning Meridian on Monday mornings.