911 Hero has served her hometown for nearly 20-years

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NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. (WTVQ) – Lieutenant April Jenkins, with Jessamine County EMS, is a shift commander at the county’s busiest ambulance station.

In her 18-years with the department, she has risen from EMT to paramedic to Lieutenant.  She is described by her co-workers as someone who always goes above and beyond for her patients, her colleagues and her community.

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That’s not bad for someone who had doubts she would ever make it in this high-stress, high-demand, high-stakes profession.

“I always wanted to be an EMT, certified to be an EMT, but I was so scared to do it.  What if I couldn’t handle it?” asked Lt. Jenkins.

She has handled it very well as evidenced by her promotions and respect within the department and county.  She is a leader of men, well, mostly women.

“My shift is predominantly female.  There’s seven of us on my shift and then, Lord help them, there’s only four guys, but they do well,” (laughs) said Lt. Jenkins.

Her colleagues are her second family.  When you work 24-hour shifts, you can’t help but be close.  “I work with a great bunch of people.  They keep me on my toes.  They are constantly challenging me and keeping me fresh,” Lt. Jenkins said.

When asked how she balances not losing her humanity in this job, while protecting her own emotions because of what she sees and deals with in the field on a daily basis, she said she prays, a lot.  Her faith is her foundation.  She said it keeps her grounded and balanced.

She is often reminded of the difference that can be made on the job, sometimes when you least expect it.

“I was doing an event with the local fire department and a lady came up and she had a little girl with her and I had delivered that girl.  That was a special moment,” said Lt. Jenkins.

Even though she had some self-doubt at the beginning of her career, April Jenkins is doing what she always wanted to do, help people in her hometown and home county.

“You see people jump from career-to-career because they haven’t found a career that’s for them.  Stepping out, taking a chance on something that you probably wouldn’t have done is probably what you need to do,” Lt. Jenkins said.

Which is exactly what she did nearly two decades ago.  “Eighteen years ago, I would have never dreamed I would have accomplished everything I have done in a career I love in a city, county and state that I love.  It’s a rewarding job.  It’s very rewarding,” said Lt. Jenkins.

 

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Tom Kenny joined ABC 36 News in June of 2001 as a General Assignment Reporter. A native of Peoria, Illinois, he graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications from Western Illinois University. He currently anchors ABC 36 News at 5pm, 6pm and 11pm. Tom has more than three decades of experience in broadcast journalism. He is the only broadcast journalist in Lexington television history to be honored with a national Edward R. Murrow Award. Tom was recognized for reporting on a story that gave a rare glimpse inside the secretive world of the Federal Witness Protection Program. He has won an Emmy Award for anchoring and another for investigative reporting, exposing the deceit and potential danger of online diploma mills. Tom has ten other Emmy nominations to his credit for investigative and feature reporting. He has won Associated Press Awards for reporting and anchoring. He has won two Addy Awards for excellence in promotional writing. Tom was the first broadcast journalist in Lexington TV history to be awarded the Silver Circle Award by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. It is one of the highest honors given by NATAS. It recognizes television professionals who have performed distinguished service within the television industry for 25-years or more. Tom was honored for more than his longevity, he was recognized for making an enduring contribution to the vitality of the television industry and for setting high standards of achievement. He was also recognized for giving back to the community as a mentor, educator and volunteer. Tom also has network broadcast experience in radio and television having worked as a sports reporter for ESPN, Sportschannel, NBC Sports and the Breeders’ Cup. He was also the studio host and halftime producer for CBS Radio Sports’ College Football Game of the Week and covered the NFL for One-On-One Radio Sports. Prior to joining WTVQ-TV, Tom was Vice-President of the Houston Astros Minor League baseball team in Lexington. He was part of the original management team that brought professional baseball back to the Bluegrass after a nearly 50-year absence. Tom has lived in Lexington since 1984. In that time, he has been heavily involved with dozens of charity and civic groups, with a special emphasis on helping Veterans. He can be reached at tkenny@wtvq.com. You can also follow Tom on Facebook www.facebook.com/TomKennyABC and Twitter @TomKennyNews. Just click on the links at the top of the page.