Health and Wellness

Everyday EMS Athlete Profile: Jimmy Pearson

EMS professionals are challenged to balance work, family, and other obligations while also staying or striving for mental and physical fitness. The Everyday EMS Athlete is a regular column to recognize and learn from other EMS professionals that are setting and meeting fitness goals. This edition was contributed by EMT and Talon Rescue Racing team member Jimmy Pearson.

Q: What is your EMS job?

I am a licensed EMT-B. I currently work as an AHA CPR instructor and teach new Nursing and EMS students at Oklahoma City Community College. I am also in school completing my Associates in Emergency Medical Sciences and Associates in Nursing.

Q: What are your athletic pursuits and goals?

My running goals for 2012 are:

  • Sub 20:00 5K
  • Sub 1:40 1/2 Marathon
  • Sub 3:30 Full Marathon

I have 6 half marathons, 4 full marathons, and at least a dozen 10k & 5ks on my schedule for 2012.¬†In the late summer of 2013 I want to run the Full Pike’s Peak Marathon…billed as the hardest marathon in America.

Q: Do you have race, lifestyle changes, or other accomplishments you are particularly proud of? If yes, please share and describe.

Around 5 years ago I injured my back lifting things improperly at work. I did not do the proper rehab and switched to a non-physical role in my workplace (aka desk job). As the years passed I packed on 80 lbs and was always tired and sore. In January of 2011 I had to have a cholecystectomy and was placed on anti-hypertensive medication. That was the turning point. I have always been an athlete and was not going to live an unhealthy lifestyle anymore. I made the commitment to make health and exercise my priority again. By May, 2011 60 lbs was gone and I was running 5-6 days a week. My Hypertension was gone and I was removed from all medication.

At 34 years old I am in the best shape I have been in since graduating high school. Since May I have lost 10 additional lbs with 10 to 20 to go.

Q: Can you share a few tips to help other EMS professionals to set and accomplish fitness goals?

The best tip I have for fitness would be make public goals and commitments. Get your family friends and co-workers involved. Become part of a group of runners or a running club to where you feel obligated to run, exercise, and practice.

If you are new to running start small, go slow, take your time. Speed and endurance will come. Trying to go to hard could cause an injury, sidelining you and breaking your routine. Most importantly I am very lucky to have a great family. We all run and train together. We participate in a running event almost every weekend of the year.

Out for a training run

Q: Is there an organization that supports your training and racing efforts?

A huge thank you to Tom DeRosa owner of Talon Rescue for sponsoring me. As a member of the EMS community it was important to me to have an EMS product sponsor. Follow Us On Our Racing Page and check out for The Best Trauma Knife in EMS.

By Greg Friese

Greg Friese, Stevens Point, Wisconsin, is an author, educator, paramedic, and marathon runner.

Greg was the co-host of the award winning EMSEduCast podcast, the only podcast by and for EMS educators. Greg has written for,, Wilderness Medical Associates, JEMS Magazine, and EMS World Magazine, and the NAEMSE Educator Newsletter.