Friday, March 7, 2014
Wyatt Tackett, 22, of Summerville grew up in Colorado and Arizona before moving to South Carolina.
“I walked out of church one day and knew I had to come here to meet my wife,” he says.
Tackett arrived in August, met her in October, began dating her in January, and married her in December.
He started serving the public as a member of the ski patrol in Colorado. Actually, he joined ski patrol not for altruistic reasons but to get a free season pass to the slopes.
He took his basic EMT training in Colorado before joining the Army in 2008 and serving for two and a half years. The Army gave him an ROTC scholarship and he went to school at the University of Arizona before requesting a transfer to Charleston.
He got an early discharge for family reasons.
“I met my wife and we got pregnant and I looked to see who was hiring, DCEMS was so I came here.”
He has been with DCEMS for two years.
He has just graduated paramedic school with Lowcountry Regional EMS and has passed his national exam. He still has his practicals to do but should be a paramedic by December, he says.
In addition to his paramedic certification, he also has avalanche training and outdoor Emergency Care training as well as rope rescue training – little of which is used much here in the south, he says.
“I try to make all my experiences, even the bad ones, positive by finding something that’s good … otherwise I take it home with me,” he says.
His best experience is more tangible: “We had a real save recently…to truly have a positive impact on someone’s life is why we do this.
“It doesn’t have to be a save,” he explains. “It could just be helping ‘grandma’ and making sure she understands there is no reason to be embarrassed, that we are here to help.”
His professional goal is to go back in the military. “I really liked it a lot and I also have a sense of duty because I had to leave it early. It is also a great place to raise a family.”
His wife Kitty is a second grade teacher in Sangaree and their son Brantley is 18 months old.
They also have a Cockatiel named Homer. When Homer laid an egg, they discovered “he” was a she.
He enjoys ultra distance running (50K) and running the Iron Man Triathlon. He has run the Grand Canyon rim to rim to rim (south and north and back again).
He takes part in these extreme sports with his Mom, and has done so since he was 16. “Mom and I competed on the U.S. National Team long distance triathlon in 2011.”
However, he says with a grimace, medic school has derailed his training for 14 months.
“I haven’t lifted a foot – other than chasing patients – and I am looking forward to getting back into training.”
He enjoys running, biking, swimming and surfing with his uncle. “I like to compete, not watch.”
He likes to cook but “my wife says it’s not so good.”
He grew up on a ranch and loves to ride and go to rodeos. He is experienced at team roping and trick roping.
He enjoys kayaking and rock climbing, lacrosse, baseball, football, basketball, telemark skiing, target shooting (animals only by necessity such as coyotes on the ranch) and fishing although, he says, he’s not very good at it.
He hates being indoors.
“But all those responsibilities that come with adulthood really cut into fun time!”
He enjoys spending time with his family and doing little things for folks to make them smile …like paying for someone’s coffee behind him in line in Starbucks or like the other day, when he went into Walmart, bought a bouquet of flowers, and gave them to a complete stranger.
“I think if we focused more on doing things that simply make people smile, the world would be so much better.
“I see so much violence in my job…”
Tackett took care of his grandfather for 10 months after he had a stroke and says it had a huge impact on him.
“How I do my job is hugely affected by my experience with my grandparents … so often our situations are not by choice…”
He says he tries to remember that every time he deals with his patients.
His life goal, he says, is to be a Godly husband and father and a strong Christian man.
“If I can do that the rest is icing on the cake.”