SHERMAN, Tex. (KXII) - A new study shows Sherman is in the top 50 cities in the nation for paramedics and EMT's. We spoke with one of the local heroes who save lives every day about why he thinks his city is ranked so high.
"I think I've always had the servant heart of wanting to help others."
James Cummings joined the Sherman Fire Department as a paramedic and firefighter three years ago.
"Sherman was the place I came calling for," Cummings said.
The city was ranked #43 out of almost 650 cities in the nation in a study by SecurityChoice.com, a security equipment website, ranking crime data, job growth, salary and cost of living.
"It's been a great place," he said. "You work hard to learn and get skills and develop."
Sherman firefighters start at $47,000. They tell us for a city of about 40,000, Sherman has top of the line equipment like a new CPR system.
They got a new ladder truck this year and expect to get a new heavy rescue truck in July.
Cummings says crews respond to about 7-10 calls per 24 hour shift ranging anywhere from chest pains to major accidents.
"You're playing the waiting game," he said. "In the meantime, you're with four other guys, you're hanging out, and you become family."
On any given day the paramedics will wait for a call to come over the speaker, they'll hop in the ambulance, and they're on their way to save a life.
One fire captain tells us the department gets a new ambulance every year--none are more than three years old.
Cummings said for those difficult calls, there's a counseling service for post traumatic stress.
But he said it's not just about the salary or equipment.
"Any time you see a smile on somebody's face, that's the reason why you do this," Cummings said. "We're all about helping each other. This is such a tight knit community."