Daniel Helton, Tiffany Helton are both Paramedics
ROME, Ga., May 25, 2023 – For more than a decade, depending on where you live, Capt. Daniel Helton and Lt. Tiffany Helton might have responded by ambulance if you needed immediate help from Atrium Health Floyd EMS.
While they live in Walker County, Daniel normally works in Chattooga County and Tiffany usually responds in Floyd County. On occasion, the husband and wife do work together. During EMS Week, the couple discussed why their profession works for them.
“I had always been interested in doing this job," said Daniel, who previously worked at Hays State Prison in Chattooga County before coming to Floyd. “My father got killed in a car wreck when I was 9 years old. That kind of put me on the path. It made me stronger and who I am today."
Tiffany's journey to becoming a paramedic was a little different.
She had been a stay-at-home mom and was considering getting a job but had not settled on anything.
“Until one night I had a dream. I had become a paramedic," she said. “I signed up for classes that day. I was an EMT for two years before I began paramedic school. I have always been a nurturer of people, so I thought it was going to be a good fit for me. Now I can't imagine doing anything else."
While paramedics are known to have strange hours, the Heltons usually work the same shift, allowing them to be able to spend some quality time together at home. They said the fact that they both work for EMS strengthens their relationship.
While at home they can problem solve and share their emotions when a day can get rough.
“In my opinion, having her at my side gives me the ability to have someone I can really talk to," Daniel said. “I can talk to her about how I am feeling and she understands. That helps tremendously."
Tiffany echoed that thought. “It definitely helps to know that he understands where I am coming from," she said.
The Heltons like to travel to de-stress. When asked where they like to go, Daniel quickly responded “anywhere." He said spur-of-the-moment trips tend to be the best.
“We just up and go. We will get off work and be tired as all get out and just go somewhere. Who knows where we're going to end up? We have slept at the beach in the back of a truck," he said.
Because they don't have a traditional 8-hour workday, they have lots of options during their days off.
“A few years ago, we got off work – obviously, we worked 24 hours and then were off for 48 – so we got off that morning and drove to Wisconsin and cut down two Christmas trees. We turned around and drove back home and had to be back at work that day," Tiffany said.
Daniel said the ability to help others makes their work gratifying.
“Just being able to go out and make a difference in somebody's life, whether it's holding their hand on the way to the hospital or just carrying on a conversation with them, it may be the last conversation they ever have," he said. “You never know; they never know. I just try to make them have a good smile, even when they are having a bad day."
Tiffany said sometimes it is hard to process situations they witness as first responders.
“Obviously, there are times when things go home with you and there are times when it is hard to process those things," she said. “Although it's nice every now and then to actually work together – I love him dearly – but I couldn't work with him every day. We work differently. We have different personalities and different ways of doing things."
Atrium Health Floyd Emergency Medical Services provides emergency ambulance and non-emergency transport services to residents of Floyd and Chattooga Counties in Georgia and Cherokee County in Alabama.
EMS also provides event support and health screenings to schools, civic organizations, churches and other groups in the community.
About Atrium Health Floyd
The Atrium Health Floyd family of health care services is a leading medical provider and economic force in northwest Georgia and northeast Alabama. Atrium Health Floyd is part of Charlotte, North Carolina-based Advocate Health, the fifth-largest nonprofit health system in the United States, created from the combination of Atrium Health and Advocate Aurora Health. Atrium Health Floyd employs more than 3,5 00 teammates who provide care in over 40 medical specialties at three hospitals: Atrium Health Floyd Medical Center – a 304-bed full-service, acute care hospital and regional referral center in Rome, Georgia; Atrium Health Floyd Polk Medical Center in Cedartown, Georgia; and Atrium Health Floyd Cherokee Medical Center in Centre, Alabama; as well as Atrium Health Floyd Medical Center Behavioral Health – a freestanding 53-bed behavioral health facility in Rome – and also primary care and urgent care network locations throughout northwest Georgia and northeast Alabama.
About Advocate Health
Advocate Health is the fifth-largest nonprofit integrated health system in the United States – created from the combination of Advocate Aurora Health and Atrium Health. Providing care under the names Advocate Health Care in Illinois, Atrium Health in the Carolinas, Georgia and Alabama, and Aurora Health Care in Wisconsin, Advocate Health is a national leader in clinical innovation, health outcomes, consumer experience and value-based care, with Wake Forest University School of Medicine serving as the academic core of the enterprise. Headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, Advocate Health serves nearly 6 million patients and is engaged in hundreds of clinical trials and research studies. It is nationally recognized for its expertise in cardiology, neurosciences, oncology, pediatrics and rehabilitation, as well as organ transplants, burn treatments and specialized musculoskeletal programs. Advocate Health employs nearly 150,000 team members across 67 hospitals and over 1,000 care locations and offers one of the nation's largest graduate medical education programs with over 2,000 residents and fellows across more than 200 programs. Committed to equitable care for all, Advocate Health provides nearly $5 billion in annual community benefits.