I’ve needed to take a load of junk to the landfill. The problem is how do I get it there? It is definitely a truck full that needed to go. Then, low and behold, Jameson Kinsey walked into the building. Jamo, a graduate of IRCS in 2016, was here helping his dad out with a project and his pick-up was right out front. (He actually helps out a lot.) True to his character, Jameson said he would absolutely help me take a load of junk in his pick-up. This gave us over an hour together this past Saturday where I was able to ask him all my usual questions.
I could write a whole blog just on Jameson’s accomplishments as a student at IRCS. Jamo attended IRCS for 11 years. In 8th grade, he was awarded the Tina Simms Award as the outstanding middle school student. He participated in four years of both football, track, and band. His senior year was loaded with awards. He was elected Senior Class President by his peers, and chosen as Mr. IRC by the teachers. He was also voted Homecoming King and was the Regiment Marching Band Captain (which in essence is the student leader of the band). In spite of all this, he was (and still is) a very humble guy that looks great in camo. His mission trips in high school consisted of three trips to Alabama and one to North Georgia. This kind of fits the camo theme, don’t you think?
Jameson is currently a fireman with the Largo Fire Department. He went through St. Petersburg College Fire Academy, EMT school, and then Paramedic school. I asked him if he felt that his education here had prepared him for what he had just been through. He said it totally had. He felt like SPC was the easiest of the schools, then EMT got a little harder, and Paramedic school challenged him the most. (Maybe it was because he did the 13 month Paramedic school while he was already working full time as a fire fighter.) To quote him, “It was like drinking water out of a fire hydrant.” I asked him if any particular teacher had an impact while he was here. He cited Mr. Hayward for helping him be prepared academically. He said, “Mr. Hayward always had the questions that required you think and search. The study skills I learned from him were a great benefit when it came to my education after high school.”
I asked Jameson how he liked being a firefighter. His simple response was, “I love it.” When asked what his favorite part is he replied, “I like running the equipment that cuts open cars when people are trapped inside.” (What is it about boys and cutting things up?) I asked if he had been on any “good” fires. He mentioned the recent fire at the old Winn Dixie store. His truck was the first apparatus on the scene, so he actually got to go inside to fight the fire. It was a very unique experience that he enjoyed, until the ceiling started to collapse and they had to pull all of the firefighters out. Hearing him talk about the flames and the smoke with a lot of passion made me believe that he really does love what he is doing. He also shared that the majority of the calls they get are not fires at all. Many are car accidents (hence the cutting cars open mentioned above). He has had the opportunity to help deliver a baby as well as helped getting a heart restarted that was in cardiac arrest. Jamo has even had the opportunity to pray with patients that have asked for prayer. On his off days he helps out with three different lawn mowing companies and also with a pest control service. This guy is a lot like the Energizer Bunny.
Thank you Jameson, for being willing to serve as a first responder. Thank you for being willing to put your life on the line to help others. Thank you for being a great guy who is willing to help people, even your old principal when he needs to take trash to the landfill. We are proud to say that you graduated from IRCS!