Lizzie Watson

Lizzie Watson

“Do ride alongs. Do shifts. See if this is what you want to do. It’s a huge commitment but it’s worth it if you enjoy it and have the time to invest, but it’s not for everybody and that’s ok.”

Lizzie Watson

Lizzie Watson

Career Captain

Station 1: Jackson


Where are you from? I am from Durham, North Carolina…dirty Durham.

And how did you find your way to Jackson? I had just gotten out of college trying to figure out what I wanted to do. I worked at my dad’s law firm and thought I wanted to go to Boston University for law school. My dad took me to dinner and he said ‘you’re 23, you can do whatever you want, get out of here.’ I was looking at the Peace Corp, looking at all my options, and I had a friend of a friend come home and say that she needed a roommate in Jackson. I thought about it for a little bit and said ‘I’ll be there in two months.’ I came out for one season, for one winter and then I was going to go to law school. That was the plan anyways…

What is your role in the department? I am a captain and paramedic for Station 1, C shift.

How long have you been a part of JH Fire/EMS? I started in 2011 as a volunteer so that was ten or eleven years ago now. I had just gotten my EMT at the NOLS campus in Kelly, so I joined after we did a tour of the station at the end of that course. I was initially very cautious about fire…I think it’s the safe way to be around fire? I grew to love it, though; everything about this job is different everyday. It really satisfies my ADD: I like to be constantly learning. 

What are your current certs? Paramedic, engineer, advanced swiftwater, rope rescue technician, jet boat operator, hazmat ops, FFT2 (wildland), and engine boss…almost. 

What are your future goals in the department? That’s a great question, one that I ask myself often, but I really love where I’m at. It’s like the best job in the whole department. Mayybbeee at some point I would want to go for a BC (Battalion Chief) position.

You have a pretty unique side gig outside of the department, right? I have a business that I started with my mom about six or seven years ago, called Page & CO. We import rugs from Kyrgyzstan and bags from Turkey and I also make jewelry. I was also a volunteer on TCSAR, I was part of starting the JH Fire Foundation, and I am a board chair for that as well. I actually just started a part time job at an interior design firm, as well. 

What do you do in your free time? (Do you have any free time?) I adventure with my boyfriend and ski, mountain bike, climb peaks, flyfish, road bike, and camp.

What would you say is your favorite part of the job? This is gonna be real cheesy sounding, but it’s truly the calls that make you feel like you make a difference. 

What about the most satisfying or rewarding part? The calls that make a difference, that make you want to stay on the job. Probably my most favorite part is the family though. That’s a huge part of why I’m not sure if I would want to go to a BC position at this point.

And the most challenging? It changes with what position you’re in, but I would say as a captain it’s definitely personnel issues which are way more stressful than anything else we do. 

What advice would you give new recruits? Do ride alongs. Do shifts. See if this is what you want to do. It’s a huge commitment but it’s worth it if you enjoy it and have the time to invest, but it’s not for everybody and that’s ok.

What do you wish you had known when starting? Maybe to be more confident, to have more faith in myself and to question myself less. People will tell you you can’t do things, or you’re not ready and it’s just not true.

What is the most important skill or trait for someone on JH Fire/EMS? I’m trying to think or how you would say it, but being persistent and not giving up, being committed. There are a lot of different scenarios that you will encounter and you just can’t make some of this stuff up…you have to find a way to make the issue better.

What do you think you bring to the department? Maybe a slightly different perspective and the goal of helping us all communicate better.

Who is your mentor or who is someone you look up to? Mike Moyer. From the very beginning, when I was doing my walk through after my EMT course, he’s who I was put in contact with. I was doing a lot of ride alongs before I was a volunteer. He’s that cool, calm, collected, won’t interrupt people on a call, might just slide you the glucometer like ‘hey idiot, you thought of this?’ without actually saying that…he is also my mentor on SAR and is probably why I joined SAR in the first place. What Would Moyer Do?

Do you have a favorite fun fact about yourself? I was on a jump rope team when I was little called the Bouncing Bulldogs and we traveled internationally. We were also the halftime show for the Charlotte Hornets.