Career as EMT makes Texas trucker safety conscious

Yvette SparksYvette Sparks

Trucker Yvette Sparks, of Mount Vernon, Texas, grew up around her grandfather’s drilling rigs and that meant growing up around trucks as well.

She had a career as an EMT firefighter before she transitioned into truck driving full-time, but she’s always driven trucks. For the last 10 years she’s driven over the road and she now drives a dedicated line for U.S. Xpress to the Rio Grande Valley out of Dallas.

“I grew up on my grandfather’s trucks so I’ve always been around them,” Sparks said. 

Sparks’ previous career as an EMT firefighter has served her well trucking. In November of 2014, Sparks was driving northbound on Interstate 35 south of New Braunfels, Texas at around 3 a.m. She came upon an accident that had just happened, and there was not yet any emergency personnel on the scene.

Sparks with her horses. (Image Courtesy of Yvette Sparks)Sparks with her horses. (Image Courtesy of Yvette Sparks)

Sparks’ training kicked in when she saw a 20-year-old girl in shock, standing outside of her vehicle and shivering. Sparks coordinated with bystanders to get the girl clothing and blankets to warm her and then, when the girl fainted, Sparks got her safely to the ground and had the young woman’s legs elevated. Sparks took care of the woman until emergency services personnel arrived on the scene, then Sparks relinquished her care to them.

Sparks was recognized by the Truckload Carriers Association as a Highway Angel in 2015 for her response to the accident. She says her EMT career definitely makes her more safety conscious when driving.

“You have due regard for not only your own safety but for the safety of the people you share the highway with,” Sparks said. 

When Sparks isn’t driving she can be found spending time with her five children and three grandchildren. Sparks also barrel races horses in her down time. She started learning how to ride horses when she was 3 years old.

Sparks also started rescuing animals after a friend of hers started a horse rescue. Now, she has four horses, two of which are rescues, a rescue dog and five cats.

She doesn’t compete with her horses but she likes to involve them in local fundraisers.

Yvette Sparks (Image Courtesy of Yvette Sparks)Yvette Sparks (Image Courtesy of Yvette Sparks)

“It’s more of a play day or benefit rides for fundraisers for children or play days with the churches,” Sparks said. 

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She also likes to take her horses out for long trail rides with friends.

Trucking is a great career for Sparks because it lets her travel, which she loves. She loves going to different places and meeting new people, particularly fellow truckers who share her love for driving.

Sparks says she’d recommend trucking to others, but she thinks its important for people interested in trucking to understand that it’s a lifestyle, not a job.

“In today’s trucking, there are a lot of people coming into trucking but the problem is people are coming into the industry and they don’t have the old school attitudes,” Sparks said. “For people like me or some of my friends, trucking is not a career, it’s a way of life for us. Trucking is a way of life.”