Billie, Tim Smith build life together as EMTs
By Jim Jarrett
Billie Smith sat at her family kitchen table 10 years ago listening to her husband Tim describe his workday in the nursing program.
With some of the medical terms he used, he might as well have been speaking French, said Billie.
“I wanted to be in on the lingo, too,” she said.
Billie became an emergency medical technician-paramedic and works alongside Tim, who is the volunteer fire chief, at the West Carlisle Fire Department.
Whether they are keeping up with medical terms or nailing down a new roof, Billie and Tim have been close to each other since they were married in 1986.
At Frenship High School, Billie, whose maiden name was Boswell, just didn’t see herself falling for a guy like Tim.
But she did.
Occupation: Emergency medical technician-paramedic at West Carlisle Fire Department. Also instructor at EMS program at South Plains College.
Family: Husband, Tim; son, Chris; daughter, Emily.
Favorite restaurant: Logan’s Roadhouse.
Billie still remembers the night she truly fell in love with Tim — prom night — during her senior year. Tim was her date.
“The day he picked me up for the prom, he was so nice and clean cut,” she said. “That was the day I looked at him and said, ‘I am going to marry him.”
They exchanged vows nine months later.
After the ceremony, Tim promised Billie she would always drive the better car, have the better clothes and a dollar in her pocket.
He’s kept his promise, she said.
Billie remembered the early married years and how they worked together. Tim was a roofer and Billie went to the sites and worked alongside him, even helping Tim while she was pregnant.
Love will find a way
Were Billie and Tim Smith destined to be together?
“There’s weird things about us,” she said.
Consider these coincidences:
What’s your number? The pair’s driver’s license numbers are just two digits off of a perfect match, said Billie. About two years separated them when they got the licenses in high school, she said.
You worked with who? Tim got along with Billie’s family, the Boswells, before he dated her. He did farm work for her father and uncle while in high school, although he didn’t know they were related to Billie at the time. He didn’t realize it until it his father-in-law brought it up in a conversation.
High school: Both attended Frenship, graduated in 1985 as top 10 students at the school, said Billie.
Tim left the roofing business for a hospital career as a nurse and Billie began her medical career as an EMT.
Billie had another reason she went into EMT training — Tim’s father, John Smith. Tim and Billie lived next door to his father.
In the mid-1990s, John began to have health problems.
Billie entered EMT training at Texas Tech University to help John. “I just wanted to make sure I knew what I was doing,” she said.
John died in 1999, but Billie continued her advanced EMT training.
Billie, who had been the first person in the Boswell family to graduate high school, also was the first in her family to graduate from a college program.
The EMT job, just like Tim, suits Billie.
“I wake up every morning knowing I might save somebody,” said Billie.
“I would like to know later when I am not here anymore, someone would say ‘Oh, she helped me.’ I don’t want a pat on the back. I just want to know I helped somebody.”
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