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Man moves across the country to East Tenn. to save lives

Platt wants to work with people during the most stressful times of their lives.
Published: Oct. 28, 2021 at 7:12 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - A man from Southern California left his FBI job after 22 years of work to become an Emergency Medical Technician in East Tennessee.

Thursday, Oct. 28, was National First Responders Day.

It was Stephen Platt’s friend, who’s also an EMT, who encouraged him to become one.

“He told me about the program and I said that sounds pretty interesting,” Platt said.

Platt wanted to work with people during the most stressful times of their lives.

“I like making sure that the people that need help can get the help that they need,” explained Platt.

About six years ago his wife was homeschooling their kids when she fell and hit her head. His kids performed the training that he and his wife had taught them and they called 911. Platt was 60 miles away at work while she was unconscious but the EMTs transported her to the hospital to save her life.

“I’m very close to this here, in terms of the effect that it’s had on my family and for others as well,” said Platt.

Changing careers during the pandemic has been difficult for Platt, but as an EMT for 30 years, Chris McLain, knows how important it is to keep this business afloat.

“It is very tough recruiting. There is a national shortage of EMTs, AMTs, across the country,” McLain said.

McLain shared that a lot of people have retired or gone into different career fields.

“That’s why we’re so excited for this program we offer,” McLain said.

This academy-style training initiative is giving back.

“If you can make a difference in one person’s life, it makes it all worth it. And these people will go out and make differences,” McLain said.

There are 32 students in McLain’s class right now.

Once they complete class they take their national registry exam and will get their state license making them eligible to go to work. Those who pass will be helping people by December.

If you’re interested in becoming an EMT the next academy begins in the spring and you can learn more here.

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