Friday, February 14, 2014
After graduating from Stratford High in Goose Creek and working for the North Charleston Fire Department for four years, Don Martin, 32, of Summerville decide he wanted to earn money. He tried his hand as a diesel mechanic for a while, then worked as a prison guard.
But in 2008 he went back to community service and the fire department. “I needed to update my medical training so I did ride-alongs with DEMS and got hooked,” he says.
“I was with some really cool people and liked the atmosphere so here I am. I am really happy at DCEMS.”
Although currently an EMT, he has had First Responder training with the fire department and in June, will finish training as a paramedic.
His goal is to continue as a paramedic because he likes being on the truck. “There’s always something exciting,” he says. “When I was with the fire department I always looked up to the paramedics. They would come in [to a scene] and start doing all these great things.”
He says he doesn’t really have a worst experience. “Individual calls don’t bother me so much…but maybe when you get call after call after call in the middle of the night…daytime is better to get a lot of calls.”
His best experience is “any time you get to see someone come back [to life].” He has also participated in “half a delivery, I got to cut the cord…the mother had already delivered the baby by the time I got there.”
He thinks maybe some day he might like to be a supervisor but right now his professional goal is getting through paramedic school. “Small goals,” he laughs. “And I do love what I am doing.”
When not cutting cords and helping patients stay alive, he spends his time with his wife Shannon and their children Aidan, 9 and Diana, 6.
What else does he enjoy?
“If you ask my wife she will say ‘guns and guitars.’”
And antiques. He and his wife love finding antiques. “We think we are amateur ‘pickers.’”
He has played guitar with people on and off for years, he says. He plays acoustic and writes his own music and, occasionally, does a bit of singing.
He loves shooting as a sport. He is, he says, a better handgun shooter and his son can outshoot him with a rifle. He doesn’t do much hunting but likes skeet shooting although he doesn’t get to do much. “I watch a little football here and there but I am not hard core,” he says.
He also does a bit of cooking, mostly grilling as his family is “outdoorsy.”
He and Shannon collect “old stuff … I find stuff my wife likes…like teapots…we both like interesting stuff like a piece of furniture or a painting. Stuff is all over our home…our living room looks like a Cracker Barrel.”
He says he is not far away from his life goal. “It seemed like such a long time to get back into public service, so I am really happy to be back.”