Essential: Volunteer firefighter Scott Parks

{Editor’s Note: This is the first of a multi-part series highlighting all the essential folks in Moore County. Readers nominated each interview subject. To nominate someone, email editor@lynchburg-times.com.}

Metro Volunteer Fire Captain Scott Parks
Metro Volunteer Fire Captain Scott Parks says pandemic or not, when the tones go off, you get up and go. {Lynchburg Times Photo}

First responders usually rush in when everyone else heads out. During a quarantine, they go when others stay in. That was the case recently for Metro Volunteer Fire Department Captain Scott Parks.

When he arrived on scene, the car sat over 75 feet from the road, ripped in half. The driver, who’d been ejected in a one car crash on Flippo Road, lay on the banks of a nearby pond. The bystanders who called the wreck in rushed to the scene and pulled him out — likely saving his life. Parks says the severity of the accident plus the COVID-19 precautions made things feel surreal.

“We made sure everyone had on gloves,” Parks said. “Unfortunately, we didn’t have, and still don’t have masks. Everyone was much more deliberate in everything they did but when you are getting a patient out, you definitely have to break the six foot rule. That’s just the nature of it.”

A native of Tullahoma, Parks moved to Moore County in 1994. He met his wife Tara Tucker Parks in 1995 and says their first date was a Moore County High School football game. The couple and their two children, Emily and Sawyer, now live in the Ridgeville area of Moore County. Tara works as the assistant logistics manager at Jack Daniel’s Distillery. Emily attends the University of Tennessee as a junior and Sawyer is an eighth grader at Moore County Middle School.

In addition to his volunteer work with the MVFD, he also works at Jack Daniel’s Distillery in the IT department. He’s currently one of dozens of employees working from home rather than onsite in the Holler.

“We’re taking every precaution,” he says. “Everyone who can, works from home. Everyone else practices the six foot rules and there’s lots of disinfecting going on.”

As for his volunteer work with the fire department, less movement means fewer emergency calls. Parks says he’s definitely noticed a lower volume since Governor Bill Lee’s Stay at Home order. But it wouldn’t matter if they weren’t.

“When the tones go off, you get up and go,” he says.

Helping is just the nature of Moore County

As of Sunday, Moore County was one of seven Tennessee counties without a confirmed COVID-19 case. When asked what he attributes this to, he’s got nothing but praise for our local leaders.

“I think Metro EMS and Mayor Lewis have done an outstanding job,” he says. “I also feel like the distillery’s decision to stop public tours was a big part of the mitigation here.”

When we asked Parks if he felt essential, he demurs.

“It’s never about me,” he says. “We have a team. There aren’t a lot of us who do this and every one of us are essential. But I feel as if I have an obligation to my community.”

Parks also says he’s bracing for the worst of the pandemic.

“We haven’t hit the apex yet. It’s gonna get worse before it gets better,” he says. “But we’ll get through it together. Neighbor helping neighbor is just the norm for Moore County … pandemic or not.” •

{The Lynchburg Times is the only independently owned and operated newspaper in Moore County … covering Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, the Lynchburg Music Fest, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

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