Today Show: Jerry Leener, From CPA To EMT
Jerry Leener first got into accounting because he was good with numbers. After he retired he heard his life calling, and the numbers he heard were a bit more simple to figure out than some of the accounting he had done in the past. With his new life calling from 911, Jerry knew he was going to be in for an adventure.
Leener was working as an accountant and partner at a global accounting firm when he went to see his son’s baseball game. He said he saw his son hit a home run that day and decided he was not going to miss a game again. He quit his job soon after the baseball game, after much hesitation he admitted, and he really had no idea what was next for him. He told the Today Show he worked on an inventory of what his personal priorities were if he wanted to get a job again. The list included a number of priorities such as not missing any baseball games, never having to wear a suit and tie again and he wanted to help others. To Leener, his list seemed to be pointing to what he wanted out of life but what job had all those criteria? Emergency medical technician.
Leener said the battalion chief was in his neighborhood one day and after talking with him, Leener decided to try his hand as a volunteer EMS. It wasn’t easy. Leener said he quit a couple times and he got “bounced out once,” as well. After nearly 18 months of training and another year of training to learn how to drive the ambulance, Leener said he is like one of the professional EMTs he works with two days a week, both 15 hour shifts.
But it isn’t the life saving Leener wanted from the job. He wanted the community. He wanted to feel the joys of such a tight knit community. He said the entire job, from saving lives to hanging out with his EMT buddies at the firehouse, has felt different than anything he ever felt while accounting. “The joy is different,” Leener said. “It hits you in the body and the soul.” Leener, in his mid 60s, knows he is getting old for the job and he said the minute something doesn’t seem right he is going to move on and let the professionals handle the job.