The Tribune is spotlighting local law enforcement and first responders.
Whether they are police officers, firefighters, emergency medical services personnel or dispatchers, these men and women in uniform are highly trained to serve and protect their communities.
Name: Shane Collier
Education: Ivy Tech Community College and studied paramedic science
Occupation: Emergency medical technician for Jackson County Emergency Medical Services and reserve officer for the Seymour Police Department
Years of service: 10
Previous career experience: Pharmacy technician for Bevers Family Pharmacy
Awards: Brownstown Exchange Club EMS/Firefighter of the Year in 2016 and Jackson County EMS EMT of the Year in 2018
What made you want to become a first responder?
When I was younger, I had an aunt who was battling cancer. One night, she had a seizure at home and was unresponsive. I watched the EMTs and paramedics treat her, and I decided in that moment that was what I wanted to do.
Did you have any influences in choosing your career?
My aunt, Holly, served as an EMT as well as my mother, Angie.
What do you like about your current position?
That each shift is completely different from the last. Most people think all we do is drive fast with lights and sirens, but there is so much more to the career. Sometimes, people are just having a bad day and need someone to talk to or we need to help an elderly patient get to a doctor’s appointment. It’s a very fast-paced career, and you never know what your 24-hour shift is going to be like.
What does it mean to you to serve your community and help people?
When someone calls 911, they are usually having one of the worst days of their life. To be able to comfort a patient or save a life is an incredible feeling. When you do this type of work in a community that you grew up in, you tend to have patients who are family or friends or that you’ve met at some point. That makes the job that much more difficult yet that much more rewarding. Jackson County is a close-knit community. It’s my home. Serving the community that I call home and grew up in makes it that much more rewarding when I help someone.
Many people refer to first responders as heroes. Why would you consider a first responder heroic?
I don’t think many first responders consider themselves heroes, but any man or woman who runs into a burning building, runs toward gunfire or treats a patient in a dangerous environment is what I would consider a hero. For someone to lay their life on the line for someone they may not know is a tall task that not many people are willing to do. Those few people are called first responders.
Do you have any hobbies outside of your day job?
Being a husband and father, working out and playing NASCAR on my Xbox.
Favorite music artist: Brett Young
Favorite food: Steak and potatoes
Favorite TV show: "Nightwatch"
Favorite movie: Any of the "Star Wars" movies
Favorite sport: NASCAR
Favorite athlete: Kevin Harvick
Favorite vacation spot: Panama City Beach, Florida
Role model: My beautiful wife
Best advice: “The past is behind, learn from it. The future is ahead, prepare for it. The present is here, live it.” — Thomas S. Monson