EMSA Paramedic With Unique Story Earns Top Gun Award

Wednesday, January 14th 2015, 6:07 pm

At 52, Don Hennessy is at an age and a place in his life where he could easily retire.

“Someone of my caliber of my personality to just sit and put up a gone fishing sign and have a stagnant life that's not good,” said Hennessy.

So after 25 years in the Air Force Reserves and 27 as Trooper with the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, he decided to become an EMT with EMSA.

“My first question was what is he doing?” said Heather Yazdanipour and instructor at EMSA's academy.

The average age of new EMT's going through the academy is in the Mid 20's.

“They called him dad,” laughed Yazdanipour.

But Hennessy graduated at the top of his class, earning the Top Gun award.

“They just kind of sparked a fire for the rest of the people in the class, like if this guy can do it, I know I can do it,” said Hennessy.

Now on the streets, an EMSA ambulance isn't quite the same as a Military Humvee or OHP cruiser but there are similarities.

“It's like being a detective, but it's a fast paced detective,” explained Hennessy.

And Don admitted to being a bit of an adrenaline junkie.

“Yea, there's a little bit of adrenaline involved in it, wean myself off of that a little bit, do some teaching and then actually enjoy my true golden years. When and if I actually decide that I really am that old.”

But that is at least another 10 years down the road.


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