Russell Collins, center with his son Jackson, displays the enlarged photograph of himself that hung in the paramedic classroom at Roane State’s Knox County Center for Health Sciences for the past year. Also pictured are center staff members, from left, David Blevins, Tom Herron, Marty Young and Mark Bodine.
Nov. 21, 2018
By Bob Fowler
Roane State staff writer
Roane State paramedic graduate Russell Collins – recognized as the 2016/17 Paramedic of the Year - now has the enlarged photograph of himself that’s been on display in the paramedic classroom.
It’s part of a tradition at the community college’s Knox County Center for Health Sciences. The student voted by his or her peers as the outstanding paramedic student has their portrait on view for a year. A plaque recognizing the winner and all other past recipients hangs next to the photo.
The honoree then returns, talks about the education he or she received and their experiences since graduating, retrieves the large photo, and a smaller version of the picture is displayed on the “wall of honor” at the center.
Collins had this to say about the honor and experience: “It has been humbling.”
Collins, a Maryville resident, is now a paramedic for AMR (American Medical Response) Blount County, where he lives with his wife Natasha and sons, Christian, 10, and 3-year-old Jackson.
He first obtained his EMT license in 2013 from Roane State and went on to complete the college’s rigorous paramedic regimen.
“I got to learn a lot that year,” Collins said. “It was an amazing experience, and amazing how much work you put in. It absolutely prepared me majorly for this job,” he said.
Collins credits Roane State paramedic instructors Mark Bodine and Marty Young for preparing him for his profession.
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