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UF Health security officer credited with saving firefighter’s life moves a step closer to fulfilling her dream

Davay Kinsey receives EMT certification

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A UF Health Jacksonville security officer credited with saving the life of a firefighter who was stabbed in the line of duty last year is now an emergency medical technician.

Davay Kinsey graduated from Florida State College at Jacksonville’s Fire Academy of the South with the EMT certification, bringing her one step closer to fulfilling her dream.

“I graduated this past Friday and graduated with the EMT certification for the program to start fire school that begins in January,” Kinsey told News4Jax.

She said becoming a firefighter is something she’s always dreamed of doing.

“About a year and a half ago, when this whole journey started, it just never presented itself to be possible for me,” Kinsey said. “When I was granted the opportunity to jump into this, I couldn’t say no.”

That opportunity was a scholarship to FSCJ’s Fire Academy of the South. She was awarded the college scholarship in recognition of her heroism on Oct. 8, 2019. Kinsey, an Air Force veteran, was working as a security officer at UF Health Jacksonville that night when she heard the call go out that two Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department firefighters had been stabbed in an ambulance a few blocks from the hospital.

“We were actually preparing for a shift change that night, and I was getting ready to go home, and we received that dramatic call through dispatch office that Rescue 2 and two engineers were being attacked in the back of the cab,” Kinsey recalled. “I got in the golf cart they supply us with and drove around there.”

One of the firefighters was critically injured, so Kinsey loaded him onto the golf cart and rushed him to the trauma center so his injuries could be treated.

“It was totally overwhelming,” Kinsey said. “Even a year and a half later, it is still overwhelming.”

It was Kinsey’s split-second decision that both doctors and Fire Chief Keith Powers credit with making all the difference, and she awarded the scholarship in December 2019.

“The real winner are going to be the citizens, severed by this great young lady,” Powers said. “So Davay, thank you.”

Earlier this month, a week before finals, Kinsey was diagnosed with COVID-19. The mother of one wrote on Facebook: “It was the worst thing I have ever been through.”

Kinsey beat the virus and finished her course work.

“The end goal is to get the patch at the end of all this and become a part of what I believe is one of the best organizations in this city -- JFRD -- as a first responder,” Kinsey said. “That is the end goal.”

Kinsey plans to begin the firefighter I and II course in January. She said she will continue to work at UF Health for as long as the hospital will have her.


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