COVID-19 has highlighted the dedication and work of first responders and medical professionals around the world. These heroes, and their families, have shown a deep commitment to service. In some cases, the family has more than one hero.
One such family is that of Coral Gables Driver/Engineer Paramedic Nelson Rodriguez.
Rodriguez was first hired by Coral Gables Fire Department in January of 1989. He served with the Rescue division for 24 years before becoming a driver. Rodriguez’s brother, Hugo, recently retired as Assistant Fire Chief for City of Miami Fire Department. “Watching my brother training to be a firefighter inspired me to look into this amazing career. As a teenager I was a patient transporter at Hialeah Hospital. That is where I saw firsthand the lifesaving skills firefighters perform daily. Along with me, my brother and his son my nephew are also firefighters. Both my brother in law’s are firefighters and another nephew is a firefighter.” said Rodriguez.
However, Rodriguez does not just serve the community as a firefighter, when he hangs up his uniform after his watch, he wears his suit and tie and steps in as the Vice Mayor of the Town of Miami Lakes, and is currently a candidate for Florida State Representative for district 103.
In a family of firefighters, Rodriguez’s wife, Lisa, wears a different superhero uniform, she is a registered nurse. “What attracted me to become a nurse was working at Hialeah Hospital in admitting and following my mom’s footsteps who was also a nurse.” She has served our community as a nurse for 25 years,” she explained.
The Rodriguez’s commitment to service has inspired their son, Marc, to follow in his father’s footsteps, and on May 8th he was sworn in as a Miami-Dade County Fire Fighter. “I come from a long line of firefighters and growing up watching my father, uncles, and cousins serving different communities really inspired me to become a firefighter. It’s a special experience to have a father who is a firefighter because we are not only apart of our immediate family, but the firefighter family as well. It’s great having a mom as a nurse because she’s another role model for me who is serving the community,” said Marc.
“It’s a great feeling to have another firefighter in the family of (7) firefighters,” Nelson shared about his son. “Marc becoming a firefighter has made me very proud. Being that he’s 20 years old and has worked so hard to make his dreams come true gives me a feeling of accomplishment as a mom. Also having a family of 7 firefighters and 5 nurses shows how we are a family that loves to serve the community,” said Lisa.
These three heroes also have two other commitment driven community participants at home, as Lisa shared “our oldest son Brian currently works for the US Census Bureau after interning in the US Capital with Senator Marco Rubio and our daughter Megan is the youngest. She will graduate from high school on Friday and will be going to nursing school.”
To the Rodriguez family and all our first responders and medical professionals, thank you for your dedication and service to our community!