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Commissioners proclaim EMT Keith Jones Day

Keith Jones received a standing ovation during last week’s county commission meeting in recognition of his being named both State and National Emergency Medical Technician of the Year by the Veterans of Foreign Wars.
Mayor Dan Eldridge read a proclamation highlighting Jones’ long career in the Northeast Tennessee region, which includes more than 40 years of emergency medical services.
After graduating from Sullivan Central High School, Jones joined a volunteer rescue squad. Two years later, in 1976, he was hired by Sullivan County Emergency Medical Services. He completed paramedic school in 1981 and served with Sullivan County for 28 years.
Jones joined the Washington County-Johnson City EMS in 2005. When the organization was awarded a federal contract five years ago to provide nonemergency ambulance transportation for patients of the James H. Quillen Mountain Home Veterans Administration Hospital, Jones took on a different role that he says allows him to put his heartfelt appreciation for the sacrifices made by veterans to good use.
He considers the opportunity to work with veterans an honor and a privilege, and thinks nothing of the hundreds of hours he gladly spends driving former soldiers to the VA for treatment. “What I do — God blessed me when he put me here. The day he guided me to join a rescue squad, he blessed me,” Jones said. “It’s where he wanted me to be and where I’m supposed to be.”
In honor of his hard work and dedication to veterans through his chosen profession, county commissioners unanimously proclaimed March 23 as EMT Keith Jones Day in Washington County.