Salute the Badge: Leon County EMT saves lives, shares message of belonging

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By: WCTV Eyewitness News
October 30, 2018

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- Lieutenant Jessica Daniels has been with the Leon County EMS for six years, serving the community she grew up in.

"It's just a great experience to be a part of something bigger than yourself," Daniels said.

She's leading a new effort to combat deaths from cardiac arrest, reading every report that comes in and entering it into a database for researchers at Emory University and the Centers for Disease Control.

"We look at that stuff and see what we can do to increase those chances in survival," she explained.

Daniels also holds dozens of events throughout the community, teaching CPR and empowering others to save lives. But, her road to becoming a paramedic wasn't easy.

Daniels dropped out of college and became a mother. That's when she got a huge reality check.

"At that point, you have children, you have a family now. It's like, 'I really need a career,'" she said.

She re-enrolled herself at Tallahassee Community College, planning to be a nurse. But, it was an extracurricular course in EMT that changed her life.

"I just fell in love with first responders. It's kind of like when you're a kid and you're looking for where you fit in and I kind of felt like I fit in there and that I belonged," she recalled.

Finding a place: a message she shares at all of her events, encouraging others to be part of something bigger than yourself.

"Everybody has a story, everybody's been through something and so to be able to use that to encourage people is phenomenal," she said.

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