Scotts Hill, Tenn.
Flint Perkins came to UT Martin to change his career path. While he learned many life lessons as a paramedic and continues to volunteer as a certified scuba diver for water rescue and recovery, Perkins is now pursuing his dream of becoming a wildlife officer.
Perkins grew up in Henderson County, where he began volunteering for the local rescue squad at age 18. His experiences lead him to earn his EMT license and he worked on an ambulance in his hometown for the next five years. Later, Perkins decided to return to school for his paramedic license and earned an associate degree in applied science. Now after years of serving his community, Perkins has decided to make a change.
“I guess you could say my life goal was to be a wildlife officer. So when I got the opportunity to quit and go back to school, I did,” he explained. “I still volunteer. I still have a position on a District 10 heavy rescue, which also serves with the water rescue and recovery.”
Perkins' dream to be a wildlife officer stems from experiences hunting and fishing with his father.
“My dad took me hunting when I was younger,” Perkins shared. “Oddly enough, I don’t even enjoy hunting as much without him because we always did it together. If you spend a lot of time outside, you’ll end up seeing wildlife officers eventually, especially on the water because they’re out there patrolling. … It just, to me, looked like the best job ever.”
Friends encouraged Perkins to look into the natural resource management major at UT Martin. Heeding their advice, he discovered the many opportunities afforded to him at the university.
“I had an internship with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service,” Perkins said. “That’s really going to benefit me, I think, in the long run, because you need experience in that world. I have a lot of job experience, but I don’t have a lot of wildlife experience. So, any experience I can get now before I start looking for a job is really going to benefit me later.”
Perkins may be changing career paths, but he is excited about the opportunities that await him. With his skills and experience as an EMT, a paramedic, a scuba diver and soon as a wildlife officer, Perkins will always be an asset to his community.
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