Dallas Fire-Rescue medical director uses tattoos to spark conversations about COVID-19

The medical director of Dallas Fire-Rescue has something he hopes you see that could save your life in the fight against COVID-19.

FOX 4’s Shaun Rabb got personal with DFR Medical Director Dr. Marshal Isaacs about his tattoos. They mark his journey of overcoming and finding hope. He now hopes his tattoos will lead others to make a decision that could save their lives.

The role of the medical director for Dallas Fire-Rescue is to support paramedics, firefighters and officers in providing the highest quality emergency medical services to the people of Dallas when they call 911.

The Highland Hills Apartments explosion was a mayday moment for Dr. Isaacs and DFR. Civilians and four firefighters were hurt.

"I was most concerned with how badly injured our firefighters were," he said.

Dr. Isaacs briefed reporters that day about the fire personnel injuries.

"Twelve years ago, I decided to become a sober person," he said. "Actually, that’s not quite true. Twelve years ago, God decided that I should become a sober person, and I thought it was wise to comply with that."

Dr. Isaacs is transparent about his life to transform others.

"Only if we talk about it can we then help others to not suffer in silence and to know that there’s help out there and that you can overcome this," he said.

Dr. Isaacs marked each year of sobriety with a tattoo of the most important thing in his life that year. For 2020, he wanted to show support for vaccinations.

"So it was obvious that that design that year should be the Pfizer tattoo," he said.

This year is his twelfth year of sobriety and still in the pandemic.

"I wanted to match the arm and I wanted to match the arm with a ‘Stop COVID’ tattoo," he said.

Dr. Isaacs has been with the injured firefighters throughout. He still practices ER medicine at UT Southwestern and Parkland.

Like his recovery, the tattoos serve a purpose.

"These are a conversation starter with patients too who also may be hesitant to get vaccinated or not understand the importance of getting vaccinated as doing our part to get us out of this pandemic," he said.

Dr. Isaacs says he doesn't know if anyone’s been motivated by his Pfizer and No COVID tattoos.

"I hope they have, but I know they’ve started many conversations, just like they started our conversation today, and I think that’s the most important part," he said.