SPC Alum, Senator Ed Hooper, on Saving Lives and SPC


senator ed hooper

As Senator Ed Hooper was rushing to a meeting in the Florida State House he referenced his previous career as a firefighter.

"In my old world they gave me a siren to blow to help me get there faster," he joked. The Palm Harbor graduate of St. Petersburg Junior College was a firefighter for 24 years in Clearwater before being elected to the Clearwater City Commission and then the state legislature.

Hooper was one of the earlier firefighters in the area to become a paramedic. When he received his education at then St. Petersburg Junior College in 1974, he was in the second class of paramedics the school graduated.

"That was a very new part of firefighting back then," Hooper said. "It was so new the college didn't really have faculty to teach it. So the college hired medical professionals, doctors and nurses with advanced degrees, to teach us."

Hooper and his colleagues learned how to do IV injections, administer cardiac drugs and a host of other medical procedures. In his career he's resuscitated two patients who no longer had a pulse and delivered two babies.

"On two occasions someone walked into the fire station to shake my hand after they recovered because they had been brought back to life," he said. "I can't even speculate on how many thousands of lives have been saved because SPC had the foresight to start a program from scratch."

The very worst days on the job were when Hooper had to pull a lifeless child out of a swimming pool, while the parents stood by watching. That's why he's currently sponsoring a Residential Swimming Pool Safety bill in the Senate. It calls for home inspectors to include certain information in their reports related to swimming pools and requires new pools to meet additional safety requirements to pass final inspection.

Hooper was recognized as SPC’s Outstanding Alumnus in 2013. In 1999, he was named Professional Firefighter of the Year. In 2006, he was elected to the Florida House of Representatives where he continues to serve today. Prior to his election to the Florida House of Representatives, he served as a Clearwater City Commissioner from 1996-2000.