It feels so good to finally report some GOOD news!! As many of you know, Cozart has been pursuing a career with a fire department (any department, not one specifically) for several years. He originally went through the fire academy and EMT school back in 1999 (I may be a little off with some of my dates, so I apologize, Babe!). At the time, they would not hire anyone unless they had a perfect driving record for a minimum of 24 months. And let's just say, Cozart hasn't always been the great driver he is today. Knowing he wouldn't be eligible he pursued other avenues and worked on letting up on the lead foot a bit. He started working for a local pool builder and advanced his way up "the ladder" until he agreed to leave the company and follow me to South Florida where, a then, recent promotion would take me. After my company closed due to the "mortgage meltdown" we moved back to Central Florida where he would once again begin his quest to work for a fire department.
He went through his re-certification process for both fire and EMT and got a job with a local ambulance company. (separate from the fire dept or hospital) He began applying to different fire departments as positions became available, only to get turned down time and time again because they were "only hiring paramedics". Instead of throwing in the towel at that point, and being the strong-willed person Cozart is, he decided to enroll in paramedic school. (boy was that fun! Ugh!) After a very long year of juggling school full-time, a full-time job with the ambulance company and fitting in clinical hours when ever he could (he went many-a-days with little to no sleep at all) he graduated as a paramedic in the fall of 2010.
Since graduation he has applied and tested for several departments, often with no explanation whatsoever as to why he wasn't selected. (Other than the fact that 250 people were applying/testing for 4 or 5 positions.) I think we can all agree, there comes a point where you start to question why you keep trying. Cozart would come to that point and move right past it and apply for the next opportunity that presented itself. Always with the same mentality and mantra "God has a plan for me.".
At the beginning of this summer, Cozart spoke to a few people at local hospitals about working as a paramedic in the hospital's ER. He was hired, in August, to be just that, an ER paramedic, for a hospital close to our house. He began a brutal schedule of working 7pm-7am Monday-Wednesday at the hospital and Thursday 9am-9pm for the ambulance company (yes you read that correct, he would work 2 jobs, each 12 hour shifts over the course of 26 hours) and Friday 6am-10pm. Horrible and so unhealthy! Not only would I not see him because of the crazy hours he was working, when he was home, he was sleeping. Always sleeping!!! And not feeling all that great, as you can imagine.
A month, or so, into his new, crazy schedule someone (I can't remember who) told him the Longwood Fire Department was hiring. That evening, we completed his application which required a 2X2 photo of himself and a few other things that were not typical. Believe me, we've done enough of these to know what is normally needed. After scanning and printing, cropping photos, typing and re-typing answers to questions on this application it was finished and he would turn it in the next day. The day after he turned in his application and as I was walking out the door, the house phone rang. I never, and I repeat NEVER answer the house phone. There are 2 people that use our house phone that we actually know and want to talk to (Cozart's Aunt and his Grandmother) and this number was neither of theirs. However, Cozart had just gotten home and gone to sleep and the last thing I wanted was for a darn telemarketer to wake him up. So, on this rare occasion, I answered it. Let me also note that, if I don't answer the phone, it goes to voicemail, I check the house voicemail about ever 3 months and 99.9% of the time it's a politician, some recording telling me I have won a cruise or someone from India and I can't understand what they're saying anyway.
The person on the other end of the phone was Lt. W from the Longwood Fire Department calling to see if it was at all possible for Cozart to come in for an interview the following day. It was imperative that he come the next day as it was their final day for interviews. In fact, he almost didn't make the application cut off time. Yikes! I left Cozart a message and he would interview the following afternoon.
Following the interview, he felt pretty confident but didn't want to be overly confident as he had felt really good many times before. He was called to meet with the Chief the following week and was sent home a conditional offer, contingent upon a background check, driving record, drug test, physical, etc... At this point, we were feeling pretty good but still nervous this opportunity would somehow slip through his fingers. The following week he was fitted for his dress uniform and the rest of his gear. We were getting even more excited, but not ready to crack the champagne just yet.
I am so happy to say, today was his first day as a Fire Fighter/Paramedic for the Longwood Fire Department. I can not put into words how over the moon I am for him. His persistance, tenacity, patience and over all faith that God does have a plan are not only paying off but something I need to learn from. I have so much respect and love for him and couldn't be more proud to call this God-fearing, faithful, devoted man, my husband. God is good!!! ALL THE TIME!!!!!!!!!!!!!