Smyrna’s Jared Williams, Motlow AEMT graduate, fights fires in Northern California

 Jared Williams, Motlow State Community College EMS graduate from Smyrna, proudly holds the Motlow EMS Education banner during a break from fighting a wildfire in northern California. Photo provided.

Jared Williams, Motlow State Community College EMS graduate from Smyrna, proudly holds the Motlow EMS Education banner during a break from fighting a wildfire in northern California. Photo provided.

Modern day heroes come from all walks of life and perform all types of heroic deeds. A hero, by definition, is one who demonstrates exceptional courage. Such is the case with Motlow State Community College Advanced Emergency Medical Technician (AEMT) graduate Jared Williams from Smyrna.

Whether it is battling the extreme heat and flames of a raging wildfire, or performing life-saving CPR on fellow firefighters or wildfire victims, Williams courageously lives a life of service to his country and others.

Williams, who received his AEMT certificate from the Motlow Emergency Medical Services education program this past May, is also a level 2 wildland firefighter. His story is one of travel, adventure, and work in the outdoors.

Williams graduated from Smyrna High School in 2007 and shortly thereafter moved to the Glenwood Springs, Colo., area where he lived for nine years. He worked as a whitewater raft guide and instructor while also serving as an assistant instructor for Colorado Mountain College, where he received a degree in Outdoor Education in 2014. During the off-seasons, he spent time traveling and working various jobs, from snowplowing to fishing in the Bering Sea out of Alaska.

In the fall of 2015 he obtained his Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) certificate from Landmark Learning in Cullowhee, N.C., and took a job with a private EMT service based in Rife, Colo.

Williams decided to leave Colorado in the summer of 2017, spending the summer living out of his truck while exploring the Pacific Northwest, rafting different rivers along the way. Eventually he found himself in Hood River, Ore., which according to Williams, has some of the best and most condensed whitewater rivers available in the country. It was there that he heard of the need for EMTs for wildland firefighter crews.

“I was immediately intrigued about this opportunity, and found a local company that was able to help me receive the fire certifications that I needed to begin working as a type 2 wildland firefighter on a hand crew,” said Williams. “There I witnessed families losing their homes to the fires we were fighting, as well as the loss of some of my favorite outdoor getaways. In the midst of these tragedies though, I witnessed some of the most beautiful acts of humanity I have ever seen.”

At the end of his first fire season, Williams knew that he wanted to contribute more, not only to the fire crew, but also to his country. He had a friend from Tennessee who had gone through the Motlow EMS program a few years back and spoke very highly of the Motlow program and instructors. Since he had not spent an extended time back home since 2008, he decided to enroll in the Motlow AEMT program.

After completing the program this past spring, Williams returned to the west to fight fires once again. He is currently working on the Delta fire in northern California, and hopes to become part of a “hotshot crew,” which is an elite team of 20 wildland firefighters, the most highly trained in the country, that are prepared to battle the most serious fires nationwide.

“I am very proud of Jared and the sacrifices he makes while battling the fires in the western states. He was a great student and has proven to be a great firefighter/AEMT,” said Drew Hooker, Motlow EMS Director. “He is a prime example of the type of graduates we produce here at Motlow EMS Education.”

By 2020, employment of EMS personnel is expected to grow by 33 percent, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. To learn more about Motlow’s EMS Education program and the opportunities available in the Paramedic, EMT, and AEMT workforce, contact Ashley Wingard at 931-294-4117 or awingard@mscc.edu.