Traverse City Record-Eagle


October 28, 2013

Women to Watch: Williams 1 of 4 to rescue swimmers in Coast Guard



Today, AST1 Jodi Williams is one of the 12 rescue swimmers at Air Station Traverse City who serve as one of four members on the of helicopter rescue crews. The other three members are the pilot, co-pilot and flight technician:

The 12 rescue swimmers at Air Station Traverse City have several duties. They are part of four-person crews, and when not flying they inspect, maintain and repair rescue, survival and EMT medical equipment on the choppers.

They also continue intensive water and/or land physical fitness and survival training to maintain strength and skill. Requirements are the same for men and women.


Williams also is a mother. She and husband, Asa, have three sons: Boone, 6, in first grade; Redding, 5, in kindergarten, and Weston, 1, in day care. They met in the Coast Guard when they were both stationed in Los Angeles in 2004 and married eight years ago. They moved to Traverse City in July from San Diego.

Asa, a Coast Guard flight mechanic for six years, earned his bachelor’s and master’s teaching degrees in San Diego. He is substitute K-5 school teacher, mostly in the Traverse City Area Public Schools.

Juggling their work, dad and mom schedules can be challenging, but they’re used to team work, they said.

She and Asa talk occasionally about the dangers of her job but don’t dwell on it.

Like many working mothers, Jodi said she feels pulled sometime by family and job responsibilities.

“I know being a mom is the most important thing, but I also want to pull my own weight at work,” she said. “I’m lucky to have a husband who likes being home with the baby. He’s great with the kids and comfortable with them.”

Her hobbies and interests have changed since having children. Her home life revolves around their school activities and soccer. She’s currently making three Halloween turtle costumes for their boys.



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