Rescued toddler grows up to work for the fire department that saved his life

Posted at 6:06 PM, May 10, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-13 14:05:47-04

HENDERSONVILLE, Tenn (WTVF) — Sometimes the best way of thanking your heroes is becoming one of them.

A young man is now firefighter after he credits them for saving his life. The new recruit says he is ready to give others second chances. Zack Jones always had one dream job and that was to be a firefighter.

“I grew up around just hearing the stories and it always sounded really cool to be a part of the department that saved my life,” said Jones.

Zack's story begins on March 5, 2001. At just 2-years-old he choked on a gumball. His mother tried removing the candy but had to get help from a neighbor who got the candy out and called 9-1-1.

Tim Jones was out of town for work when he got the call that Hendersonville first responders were taking his son to the hospital where he was then airlifted to Huntsville.

“In the air worst complications happened, he had a chest tube put in because one of his lungs collapsed,” said Tim Jones.

Zack was placed in a medically induced coma and spent days in the hospital where he recovered.

“We spent eight days there not knowing what he was going to be like when he woke up,” said Tim Jones

Zack woke up with one goal in mind.

“I just want to give people the second chance that I received when I was 2-years-old, I want to be that difference in other people's lives,” Zack said.

Zack doesn't remember much from 18-years-ago besides his frequent visits thanking the Hendersonville first responders that helped saved him.

And after graduating from the academy this month, Zack is now a part of that same team of Hendersonville heroes.

“I like helping people, I like serving people,” Zack said.

Zack joins his older brother Corey as a Hendersonville firefighter. Zack started his first shift last week.