When people ask Jason Colvin how he got into the insurance business, he always shares a similar story.
At 18, his father, Jeff, was the youngest paramedic at St. Joseph's Hospital in Parkersburg, W.Va. He also worked for the city as a firefighter and paramedic.
His dad died of cancer at 25 when Colvin was 4. The few memories he has of his dad include seeing him in the hospital and at the funeral.
"My mom always said my dad was big into safety, and from what I've learned from some of his friends over the years was that he was really dedicated to the fire department and being a medic," said Colvin. "He just loved that: helping people."
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His grandfather started the first hazardous materials team at the Dupont plant in Washington, W.Va. He also volunteered with local EMS and for years served as assistant chief for the town's volunteer fire department.
So, you could say the business of keeping people safe is in his blood. If it weren't for becoming an insurance agent, Colvin said he probably would have become an emergency medical helicopter pilot because of his love for the aircraft.
Colvin owns an insurance agency in Huntersville. His wife, Julianne, 30, is a dentist. They've been married four years and have lived in Huntersville's Cambridge Grove neighborhood for about five years. They also recently had their first child, Tyler, a boy.
The story behind the loss of his father is one of the driving forces behind his desire to help people.
"You want to do what's right," he said. "I want to be an example and if I can get other people encouraged to get involved that's even better."
Colvin has helped educate the public on several safety issues, including child safety, teen driving, home safety and crime prevention.
His first community safety endeavor was to amp up awareness for Nation Teen Driver Safety Week, which is held each October. He did a strap-for-cash event and gave out a buck to every high school student if all their passengers were wearing seat belts.
He's also helped sponsor three Safety Towns with the Huntersville Police Department and the town's National Night Out event. And he's working on anti-drunk driving campaign for teens.
In May, he helped with the National Missing Children's Day event at Northcross Shopping Center, where he helped assemble child identification kits that included photos, fingerprints and other vital information that can be shared with police and media in the event a child goes missing. He has set a goal of distributing at least 2,000 kits in the Lake Norman area. So far, he's completed more than 400.
He is the only Nationally Certified Child Passenger Safety Technician in Huntersville and offers free safety checks on car seats every Friday by appointment.
"Statistics say 85-95 percent of all car seats are used improperly," said Colvin. "I was using my own car seat improperly before I went to that class."
Colvin said he never planned on being an insurance agent, but his friend and mentor, Dan McPherson - his dad's insurance agent and a family friend - made an impression on him.
"He was one of the few people who sat down with me and tried to steer me to what I wanted to do," said Colvin. "He's always been there. He was my T-ball coach, my baseball coach, he was really involved in the community and he even helped get a football stadium built in Parkersburg. I would love for me to be the Dan McPherson for somebody else."
He said he does get a few "thank you's" for his efforts, but that's not what it's about.
"I do it because I care," he said. "But the comments do help reinforce what you're doing. They make you feel good. You want to be able to help out how you can. So, this is my way."