Bay County paramedic retires after 45 years

Choose a job you love, and you'll never work a day in your life. That's something Kevin French says he knows all too well.
Published: May. 31, 2023 at 7:00 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

BAY COUNTY Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - “Almost 46 years total.”

Kevin French is retiring after more than four decades of serving as a Bay County paramedic in the community.

“It is a privilege because not many people get to do something they enjoy.” said French.

French says he got into the field right out of high school.

“Hit the road running and haven’t looked back,” French said.

Now he is getting ready to begin another chapter in his life.

NewsChannel 7 got to ride along with him for his last day on the job.

“I’m glad some of my old friends and partners are riding with me today, kind of sending me off,” said French.

He says he knew the day was coming, so he wanted to make the best of it.

“It’s hard to explain because this is a part of my life and all of a sudden it is not a part of your life, so you have to rethink ‘what am I going to do with my spare time?’”

Kevin says while he will miss his co-workers, he is excited to get to spend more time with his family.

“I’m hoping to know my family and get to know them better cause I missed out on holidays, Christmas when I was at work, I’d have to get up early to open Christmas presents with my kids and then go off to work,” said French.

But it is a bittersweet day.

“It is sweet to have all them here and throwing accolades on me, but it is also ‘what am I going to do tomorrow’ because I’m not going to be waking up and getting on a truck anymore. I’m turning in my uniform, my radios, that’s something I’ve toted it on my side for years: a radio. I wore a uniform, now I can wear my shorts t-shirts and flip flops you might not even recognize me,” said French.

French may be starting a new chapter in life he says he will not forget the friends and relationships he made while serving the community.

French is also a firefighter and will stay in that job for a while longer so he’s not going to get bored anytime soon.