Rothwell is flight paramedic

Published 1:31 pm Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Drakes Branch native Thomas Rothwell has been tapped as a member of Centra One’s Flight Paramedic Team.

“I didn’t really know what a flight paramedic was or what they did until getting involved in (emergency medical services) through the rescue squad,” Rothwell said. “After getting to see what (they) do, I knew it was something I wanted to do.”

According to Rothwell, he was notified Feb. 25 about his new position with Centra.

“These groups of professionals are well-trained in critical care and trauma transport,” Centra officials said on their website. “Centra One’s flight team responds to the scene of major accidents (and) performs inter-facility transports for critically ill patients.”

In order to be considered for the position, candidates must possess  experience and certifications, such as paramedic, cardiac, pediatric, medical and trauma advanced life support training, Rothwell said.

“CPR, critical care training and experience are the minimum requirements,” he said.

Rothwell has worked over the years with many emergency organizations. He got his start helping people in 2003 when he first joined the Drakes Branch Volunteer Fire Department and the Charlotte Court House Volunteer Fire Department as a junior member at only 16 years old.

“Thomas is currently a line officer and training officer,” said Drakes Branch Fire Chief Kenny Tharpe. “He is definitely an asset to the department and community as a whole.”

Rothwell said he became a member of the Charlotte County Rescue Squad in 2007. He has been a member of all three departments since joining.

“The experiences and training I received at these organizations made it clear to me that this is what I wanted to do for a living,” said Rothwell.

Rothwell has also served as a member of the Lynchburg Fire Department.

“I had been interested in the Lynchburg Fire Department since I was in high school,” he said. “During paramedic school, I did my field rotations on Lynchburg Medic Units, (and) that’s pretty much when I decided that I wanted to work there. It’s a very competitive process and took several times of applying to get in.”

Rothwell said he’s excited and eager to begin this new part of his career.

Last May, Rothwell was featured in Centra Focus, a magazine produced by the healthcare provider, for his contribution during the lifesaving efforts of a Drakes Branch man.

Rothwell is a 2005 graduate of Randolph-Henry High School.