Perry Wood, a paramedic with Sylacauga Ambulance Service, was recognized for achieving 20 consecutive years as a nationally registered emergency medical technician.
According to a letter Wood received from the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians, it is “an honor held by few” to uphold 20 years or more of consecutive registration.
To maintain his status, Wood completed courses to refresh his fundamental skills and knowledge and also attended a minimum of two hours per month of continuing education.
Wood said he has actually worked as a paramedic for 30 years, starting with the Childersburg Fire Department in 1984. He was one of the first three hired in April of that year to begin the department’s first fire/medic responders crew, which also included Jeff Monroe and the late Jeff Little.
Wood retired from Childersburg after 27 years and joined Sylacauga Ambulance in 2011.
“I enjoy when you help somebody that really needs intervention and make a difference with a positive outcome,” Wood said. “That’s rewarding. That’s why I got into the business. We have seen several people’s lives be positively affected because we were there, and that’s not just because of me, but our team.”
In Wood’s letter from the NREMT, executive director Severo Rodriguez said the organization has registered more than 1 million EMTs since its inception in 1970.
“During this time, the field of EMS has continually evolved and improved, and you have been an integral part of those changes in your community,” Rodriguez wrote. “EMS would not be where it is today without your direction, dedication and service.”