Emergency medical services teacher doubles as volunteer firefighter

LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) – It’s been an exhausting week for the men and women sacrificing their time to fight the wildfires in Louisiana.

Many of them have taken time away from their jobs to protect and serve during this disaster. Teen reporter Shamecia Guillory brings us the story of one Calcasieu Parish teacher pulling double duty.

Crews from surrounding communities, and even other states, have been called in to help fight wildfires in our area. One of those volunteers is Christian Parsons.

Parsons is a firefighter for the Houston River Volunteer Fire Department. He’s a familiar face with his fire crew and the crew at College Street Vocational Center, where he teaches emergency medical classes.

Whenever I go on calls, and I work on emergency scenes, it keeps me relevant in the field because the world of emergency services is ever-changing. And if I am able to keep up by volunteering my time for the community, I’m able to help my community and I’m able to get my experience that I need at the same time,” he said.

Parsons has been a volunteer firefighter for a year, and this is his third year in the classroom. He said it is a perfect blend of two of his passions.

“I have a passion for emergency medical services. I always wanted to get into instruction because I really like kids, too. So getting to do both, getting to help my community by creating new EMTs that have a passion for the field just like I did, is really important to me,” Parsons said.

This makes a big impact on his students, too, who can see he lives out what he teaches them.

“I understand a lot where he’s coming from. He’s got to go out there and he has responsibilities out there as a firefighter and come in here and teach us in the mornings. It means a lot to me because my father’s a fire chief and he’s out there right now and all the men and women out there, I have respect for them,” said emergency medical response student Carder Trahan.

“I feel like it’s a better learning experience because he can tell us from experience and show us how it actually is done in the real world. I feel like it’s a lot better experience to learn that way,” emergency medical technician student Kylee Badeaux said.

Parsons said he is proud to be an example to his students about helping the community in times of need.

“I have a passion for helping the community, and it’s what I’ve always wanted to do, and to be able to do both means a lot,” he said.

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