David “Blake” Norwood has been named the 2021 Star of Life for LifeNet, Inc. in Hot Springs, Arkansas.
Growing up, Blake planned to follow in his dad’s footsteps and work in law enforcement. After graduating from Camden-Harmony Grove High School, he attended Arkansas Tech University, where he earned degrees in sociology and criminal justice.
Shortly thereafter, Blake started his career with the Pope County Sheriff’s Office and then the Camden Police Department. In 2015, Blake earned a specialized degree in law enforcement from the Arkansas Law Enforcement Training Academy.
During his tenure at the Camden Police Department, Blake was dispatched on a call that would ultimately change the trajectory of his career.
“We were having our Christmas party at the police department when I got dispatched on a call for an ‘unknown problem’. When I got there, a man came running out and said, ‘My friend has been shot.’ I found the victim shot in the leg three times. I took the belt off the man who had directed me to the scene, and I made a tourniquet using it and my collapsible baton. I held it until EMS got there. Helping him felt good, more so than getting a drunk driver off the street, arresting someone for a domestic dispute, or writing a ticket,” Blake said.
Blake received a lifesaving award from the police department for his actions on scene.
When Blake’s wife, Amanda, took a teaching job in Hot Springs, Arkansas, Norwood felt it was the right time to enroll in the EMT program at the Arkansas Fire Academy. Shortly thereafter, Blake began working for LifeNet in 2018.
Since then Blake has served as a field training officer (FTO) for new EMTs at LifeNet.
“I enjoy teaching, especially when you have people who are open and want to learn,” Blake said. “I became an FTO because I wanted to be able to reach more people. My teaching indirectly touches a lot more patients because I’ve taught the other EMTs how to do their job. I always tell my orientees to do the right thing and take responsibility for your actions, and I try to live by those things, too.”
Blake’s favorite type of calls involve trauma patients.
“They are the most cut and dry. You can see the problem and you can fix it. There aren’t a lot of questions to be asked,” he said.
Blake was nominated for Star of Life by his peers and selected by a committee of former Stars of Life at LifeNet, Inc.
Some of the words written in his nominations included:
- “My first recollection of Blake was when he worked in our supply room. I noticed his integrity right away, and it never changed. He was committed to doing a job that most people did not want, and he held us accountable as staff in making us be good stewards of our supplies.”
- “Blake has integrity, empathy, and compassion that is admirable. He is very committed. to providing the best care to our patients. His motto is truly ‘Do the right thing.’”
- “He works hard training our new hires and wants everyone of them to succeed. He has strong family values that show in his work every day. I believe his background in law enforcement shows he has always been a proud servant to his community.”
- “After 31 years of being in EMS, I can say that being his partner has made me a better paramedic and a better person.”
Blake plans to enroll in paramedic school in the future and ultimately hopes to work as a SWAT medic combining his love for EMS and law enforcement.
When he isn’t at work, Blake enjoys going out with his friends, playing video games, going to the gym, watching television with his wife, Amanda, and playing with his dog Scottie and cats, Matlock and Beldar.