Honoring Hometown Heroes: Paramedic David Harrelson Improves the Lives He Saves
Townsquare Media Tuscaloosa and Local Bank are proud to present Hometown Heroes! Each month, we'll take nominations for local heroes from law enforcement, firefighters, teachers, veterans, emergency medical personnel and medical professionals. Our Hometown Heroes will be featured on this station website and tuscaloosahread.com and get treated to a lunch at Texas Roadhouse with a personality from one of Townsquare local radio stations.
David Harrelson, a paramedic with Tuscaloosa's NorthStar Emergency Medical Services, says he can't imagine life doing anything else.
In an interview after he was nominated to be November's Hometown Hero, Harrelson said he is a native of North Alabama who spent 25 years as an EMT and paramedic in Georgia before coming on at Northstar. His four weekly shifts begin at 6 a.m. and can run 12 hours, depending on call volume.
"Once it gets in your blood brother, helping others, it's just hard to do anything else," Harrelson said.
He said an instructor once told him being a paramedic is about more than saving lives, it's about improving them.
"It can be in different areas and a lot of different ways, but if you leave them a little better than you found them, even if you find them dead, then you've done something worthwhile for your fellow man," Harrelson said. "Man, I don't mean to sound cliche or cheesy but people out there, they see some rough times and if we can shed a little light on the right way to go, that's just a good feeling and you can't get tired of it at all."
Harrelson was nominated by his daughter-in-law Taylor.
"I can’t think of anyone more deserving of a free lunch than this man," she said. "He is so kind and is always in such a happy mood, no matter how his day is going. He is truly an inspiration to everyone he meets and is bound to leave a smile on your face."
"God has blessed my life," David Harrelson said. "I've got a great wife, I've got a great family, and Taylor is a blessing to us, she loves my son and I couldn't ask for anything better than that. It's just been a wonderful life, what the Lord's called me to do, to help others. I'm not used to getting thanked for it and never asked for it, you know, but this is just a wild, great honor."
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