Honoring First Responder Darlene Poole’s long career
Chances are you’ve already heard of Darlene Poole.
We were there when she retired last month after 30 years at Hamilton County Emergency Medical Services.
With a record like that, we couldn’t let her get away without one more salute…so we proudly name Darlene Poole our first responder of the month.
Here’s news 12’s Bill Mitchell.
Very few people can call almost all of the paramedics in Chattanooga by name. But Darlene Poole can because she trained most all of them. She ends her long career with Hamilton county as a captain in charge of instruction.
“In 77 I lost my dad to a heart attack. And, I told our neighbor, who at the time was a really old gentleman. I don’t know what you’d call the people in the back of those ambulances, but one day I’m going to be one. So in 1981 I got my EMT license and in 1988 I got my para-medic license. So I have literally lived and breathed EMS.”
Her official retirement party was in February and all of her friends and admirers were there.
HCEMS Director Ken Wilkerson say “Darlene just epitomizes a true first responder. She responds on call, she has responded on hundreds of calls, thousands of calls in her career. Through her training efforts teaching CPR to other responders, she’s taken her knowledge and broadcast it across the county to countless numbers of people.”
Deputy Chief John Combes adds “Just the training she provided. Very professional. A friend, somebody that people could call on, and maybe cry on her shoulder, to talk to and a true professional.”
Things have changed a lot since Captain Poole first put on the uniform.
Capt. Poole says “I have appreciated being able to be a part of Hamilton county EMS since the beginning. You know at first, there were 2 ambulances, 17 people, that started this EMS service. Now there’re over a hundred full-time people and about 30 part-timers. And I’ve just really enjoyed being able to share and just be a part of this for all my adult life, really.”
And we appreciate you Darlene Poole, for being responsible for so many of our First Responders of the month.
JAMES WETTERMARK, WETTERMARK KEITH “At Wettermark Keith we are so proud of this month’s First responder winner. We’re also proud of the hundreds of other First Responders who are out there working every day and every night to protect us and our families.”
In Chattanooga, Bill Mitchell News 12 Now.