Christina Harris submitted 2020-04-23
Christina Harris was born April 26, 1980 in Fort Smith, Arkansas. She is an inspiring mother, wife and medical professional. Her drive to help people in need has always been heartwarming.
She graduated high school in 1998 and was married in 1999. In 2001, Christina joined a volunteer fire department in her community where she then went to first responder classes. For 5 years she ran medical calls, fire calls and attended every training that she could. She would always be right in the middle of anything that was happening and learned something from anyone that was willing to teach her. In 2005 she had her first child, she struggled for years to have children, but that did not stop her from doing what she loved. She continued to run medical and fire calls while also holding down a fulltime job. Then in 2007, she was blessed with a second child, after being told she may not be able become pregnant again. Now she is a mom of two children working a fulltime job, volunteer fire fighter and volunteer medical responder. While she wanted to continue her work in the community, time would not allow it very often.
There was a 911 dispatch position open at The Crawford County Sheriff Department, she applied and was hired without any prior experience. Within months, she was promoted to assistant dispatch supervisor and was approached to help the Arkansas State Police dispatch while a dispatcher had been deployed. She worked both jobs for six months while also talking care of her two children at home. Working for the Arkansas State Police gave her some very new experience with dispatching law enforcement.
In 2010, the Crawford County Sheriff Department sent her to Officer Reserve School, where she trained to be a police officer. For 8 weeks she went to class and was taught the laws and how to survive out on the streets as a police officer. While she did not want to go out on the streets full-time, she was offered to take over the Project Lifesaver program. The Project Lifesaver program is for patients with Dementia, Alzheimer’s and children with Autism who tend to wander away from home. It is a bracelet that the patients wear that has a radio frequency assigned to it. If the child or adult wanders from home, the search and rescue team are then able to go out and use their radar to track them and bring them home safe. Christina went into the patient’s homes once a month and changed the battery in the bracelet and to ensure that the bracelet was properly working.
In 2011 the Crawford County Courthouse had an active shooter situation. Many people responded and the 911 center across the street was very busy. Christina being in the 911 center helped take calls from scared citizens and directed officers to the scene. She was awarded a Distinguished Service Award for her courage and commitment during this event. Unbeknownst to her, bullets had hit the building that she was in during the shooting. In 2012 she transferred to the Van Buren Police Department as a 911 dispatcher. The city department was much busier and had many more officers that she had to take care of. During her tenure at the Police Department, she had multiple commendations.
Life events happened and she unfortunately went through a divorce in 2014. Although it was hard for her to start over, her life was about to change for the better, she realized that she was the one in control of her own happiness. In 2016 she was remarried and was blessed with 3 bonus children. She sadly had to give up her career and obtain a job that allowed her to be home in the evening with the kids, her new spouse is a career firefighter and was gone for 24 hours at a time.
Her new job was at a medical clinic, she gained knowledge of how medicine and the medical system works. She worked right along side 2 physicians and trained them on the computer technology. While working with the physicians, they helped her understand why you give certain medicine and what the medicine treats.
Although she was learning, it was not where her heart was at all, she missed dispatch. In June of 2018 she decided to quit her job at the medical clinic, stay home and take care of her medical problems. She had major surgery in August and had to be very careful of any circumstances that arose. December of 2018, she received a phone call from a friend who wanted her to come and dispatch for Southwest EMS, she accepted a fulltime position. Being back in the field of helping people in her community made her feel like she belonged again and that she had a purpose.
Christina has always wanted to be in EMS, she has all the support of her family and friends. She is pursuing her dreams and became an EMT summer of 2019 and is going forwards to become a Paramedic. The medical field is her passion, helping people who are in need is something that she knows where she is supposed to be. Being a Paramedic is something that she will always cherish and be forever grateful to accomplish.