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Casey Swink, The Valley's First Responder for August 2020

Paramedic Casey Swink talks about his journey to HEMSI and what it's been like during the pandemic.

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — Meet HEMSI paramedia Casey Swink, this month's Valley's First Responder.

Swink has been in healthcare for 10 years, working around the Southeast. Now he's in the Valley and he says he's here to stay.

He explains, "I started my career at Huntsville Hospital, got on with HEMSI for a little bit, and then my wife and i moved down to Orlando. I worked down in Orlando at Orlando Health down there and we just moved back a little over a year ago."

Swink shares how he got into the field. "I was always interested in the field of health. I actually went and kind of started some pre-med courses at college at Florida Tech in Melbourne and I kinda got the opportunity to fly with a helicopter over there for just a ride-along and then I just fell in love with emergency medicine, EMS and stuff like that. So I went and got my EMT after that... been in it ever since.

It's a jo he loves, but it comes with a harsh reality. "I have unfortunately been a part of many unfortunate events. I was here during the 2011 tornadoes of course. I also worked in Orlando - the Pulse Nightclub shooting, and I've also done some very unfortunate phone calls I'm not proud to be part of, but I'm also proud that I was there to at least even attempt to help out."

A big reason he loves coming to work every day is simply because he works for HEMSI. Swink says, "I mean - they treat us very well... I have not one complaint on how they treat us. The way things are today, they've been really well with keeping us up-to-date as best as possible, providing us with all the PPE that we need... and getting us all the tools that we really need to keep going in today's time."

If you know a local First Responder who you'd like to see featured, nominate them here.