For this week’s First Responder Friday, Smith County Insider interviewed Doug Russell, a full time AEMT for Smith County EMS. Doug is also a member of the Smith County Rescue Squad and is the District Chief for the Riddleton/Dixon Springs Fire Department.

Doug has served as a first responder for 30 years.

Smith County First Responder Doug Russell

SCI: When did you realize this is what you wanted to do?

DR: 1993 — Fire Department paged to a wreck with ejection. The fire department was first on the scene before the ambulance, and I realized I didn’t have enough training to help this person. My brother and I went to EMT school in Macon County at nights that fall, without the intention of it becoming a full time occupation for me.

SCI: What is the best thing about your job?

DR: Helping someone on a call and that person thanking you the next time you run into them somewhere

SCI: What is your proudest work accomplishment?

DR: Working with some great people that are your second family

SCI: What advice would you give someone looking to go into your field?

DR: Make sure that being a first responder is what you want to do. You have to be dedicated to put up with some of the things we deal with. The pay is not the best in the world and you spend a lot of time away from your family, but it’s a great feeling of accomplishment when you have helped someone overcome some of their problems.

SCI: What are your favorite hobbies and activities outside of work?

DR:  Being with my family and hunting when I have time

SCI: Is there anything else you want to share with the readers of Smith County Insider?

DR: Smith County has some wonderful people out there, and as a “First Responder,” we thank you for your support and caring.

Thank you for your service to Smith County, Doug!

Don’t miss next week’s First Responder Friday!