September 27, 2023

Paramedic strives to create legacy for family

ParamedicOn the surface, Trevor Johnston seems like just another hard-working guy.

Talk with him for little while, especially about CSU, and you will see a smile, a spark in his eyes and begin to hear and feel his excitement about the online university.

Probe a little deeper, and you will find a thoughtful, generous man filled with determination and spirit.

“I am the first person in my family to go to college, or even finish high school,” explained Johnston, who lives in Duncan, S.C. After finishing high school in 1990, he served in the U.S. Army and attended Greenville Technical College in 1996. Johnston soon enrolled in the South Carolina Upstate EMS Council “because of a desire to help people, and an interest in the healthcare field.”

For the next three years, he would feed that desire by serving as a paramedic for Spartanburg County — until one fateful day.

“On May 16, 1999, I was shot in the head in the line of duty as a paramedic, and almost died,” Johnston said.


However, this life-changing moment would not diminish his determination.

“Through God’s strength and healing, I survived and carried on as a medic after several years of dealing with medical problems,” Johnston said.

In 2006, he began working at his current workplace of Greenville, S.C. EMS. During this time, he also chose to face another issue in his life: education.

“I decided that I was not going to leave my children a legacy like my parents left me. I was never taught the value of education, just hard work and struggles. I wanted to advance my career and life by being able to say with pride that I was a college graduate.”

After hearing about CSU and its helpful staff from a friend, Johnston decided to pursue a bachelor’s degree in occupational safety and health in 2009.

“CSU came into my life at the perfect time, and because of its term system, I was more interested in CSU than a traditional semester type system,” he said.

And Johnston is not shy about expressing his passion for the school:  “Becoming a student at Columbia Southern gave me a new outlook on life and I looked forward to every Monday when a new unit opened up,” he said. “I told everyone I knew about not only the school, but that I was a proud student there. CSU has given me confidence in my learning abilities and made me feel better about myself and my future.”

While Johnston loves learning, he does have other interests including scuba diving, wood working and, of course, spending time with his wife and two children.

“I am also a member of Taylors Masonic Lodge and the Scottish Rite, both of which are very dear to me and give me a sense of pride knowing that I am helping various charities further their ability to help others.”

And helping others is what it’s all about for this paramedic and CSU alumnus.


One Comment

  1. Trey Hutchison

    Trevor helped save my life last Thursday evening with his partner. Thank you for everything you did to help me. I can never ever truly thank you enough!
    Will never forget you,