Johnathan Steele, paramedic student at birth simulation

Johnathan Steele of Latimer was recently selected Regional EMT of the Year for Acadian Ambulance Service in Mississippi. That’s because Steele does everything to the very best of his ability, and people take note of that.

“I strive to be the best role model I can for my children, and I want them to know I work hard to reach my goals,” he said. “Even so, it’s nice to get that hard work recognized by your supervisors and co-workers.”

A father of two sons and a daughter, Steele, 33, has a full-time job and had been a full-time student until August, when he completed his paramedic training. His wife is a veterinary assistant, and his family loves animals, so he also helps to take care of a pig, two ducks, four chickens, three cats and four dogs.

It’s been a grueling process, staying up for more than 36 hours at a time to attend classes and clinicals, do my job and spend time for my family and pets,” he said. “It has all been worth it though, and now I can look back and appreciate the experience I gained through the program and on the job.

He said that his 10 years in the military gave him the stamina and mental fortitude to stay the course. “In the military, you learn to power through the mental fog to get things done,” he said. “You may work a 12-hour shift and find out you aren’t going to get relieved right away. Staying sharp no matter how tired you are is an important skill to learn.”

When he first left the Marine Corps, he worked in the oil field, but quickly decided he needed a job that was more fulfilling for him. “In the military, I was serving a greater purpose. I needed to feel that again. It wasn’t long before I started planning for a different kind of job where I could help people.”

Steele looks forward to yet another milestone in his career path. As a paramedic, he will continue to work at his current job. “I am the luckiest of people, having had the opportunity to serve my country and my community with the added bonus of loving what I do every day.”

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