Faculty Spotlight: Public safety alumna teaches next first responders

Wednesday, October 28, 2020
Written by: Emily Hollingshead

Fun Facts:
Skill you want to learn: Rock Climbing
Best Junk Food: Pork Rinds
Favorite Music Genre: Country

When disaster strikes, our community depends on the people who have prepared for the worst to keep going. “This job in general, people look at you in a different light,” said Seminole State College of Florida EMS Clinical Lab Assistant Kristi Campbell. “We’re running in while they are running out.”

While she had always wanted to be a part of the healthcare field, Campbell didn’t start on her public safety path until she was 35, when she signed up for the EMT certification with her son. “From the first week at Seminole State, I was hooked,” she said. “I knew that this was the profession I wanted, and I wanted to be back in this classroom teaching it to other people.”

From the first week at Seminole State, I was hooked. I knew that this was the profession I wanted, and I wanted to be back in this classroom teaching it to other people.

Kristi Campbell.

Setting these goals for herself was a major motivator. Campbell would write what she had to do on sticky notes and attach them to her mirror. She’d get up at 3 a.m. to study and volunteer for everything she could. Her high energy and determination have brought her success as she is now a lieutenant with the Volusia County Fire Department and works for the U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife as well as the Volusia County wildland team. Through her nonprofit work, she yearly helps train flight nurses in survival, taking them out via airboat to remote locations to teach them how to acquire water, fire and shelter in the case their helicopters ever go down while transporting patients.

As a lieutenant, she is in charge of all the scenes, fire safety and the safety of her crew, as well as the administration tasks at the station. These skills help her in the paramedic labs she teaches at the College. “It is the fun class. You get to touch and interact with things,” Campbell said. “The lab is where you put everything together that you learn in the books.” Since she has gone through the program herself, she knows the work is doable and holds her students accountable as she knows they will be held responsible for people’s lives when in the field.

For Campbell, integrity is the biggest value potential public safety personnel should have. “You have to put others’ welfare before your own. It may be 2 a.m. and you’re tired, but you still need to treat them with respect,” Campbell said. She encourages non-traditional students to consider public safety as they have more experience and life lessons to apply and are more apt to know the dedication it requires to succeed in the field.

“Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do this,” said Campbell.
If you are interested in any of the Emergency Medical Services programs, visit seminolestate.edu/ems to find a program that fits your needs.

About the Center for Public Safety

Seminole State's Center for Public Safety is a statewide educational resource for all aspects of criminal justice, fire science and EMS. In addition to preparing future first responders, the Center for Public Safety provides advanced, specialized and in-service training for current law enforcement officers, firefighters, EMTs and paramedics. The College also offers students an Associate in Science degree in all three disciplines. Visit seminolestate.edu/public-safety for more information.