Garrett was born and raised in Fresno and Ventura, CA. Having little control growing up in an abusive household and subject to intense adversity, Garrett kept a level head that shaped his resourcefulness in a crisis. While moving through the foster care system and in and out of a series of group homes, his grandmother, step-father, and father were all pinnacle sources of hope. That confidence ensured that Garrett was never going to give up, a trait essential for a rescue worker.
Garrett has been a First Responder for countless disasters — from fires, earthquakes, and tornadoes to floods and hurricanes including Hurricane Katrina in 2005. On the morning of 9/11 in Florida, Garrett woke up to the shattering news of the attack and had no doubt of where he needed to be. Driving first to the Pentagon, and then being flown to Ground Zero, Garrett offered his skills to aid. If he did not survive, he would go out the way he wanted — with integrity providing service to others.
This integrity has intensified as his health has deteriorated from breathing in the asbestos, pulverized concrete, airborne toxins, and dust. As with many First Responders, Garrett too was diagnosed with COPD, Asthma, PTSD and later, Transient Pulmonary Hypertension. When the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act took care of First Responders at 9/11 was soon to expire, Garrett flew to Washington D.C. to get Congress to help aggressively pass legislation, making the World Trade Center Health Program a permanent provider of medical treatment for these heroes.
This milestone event drove Garrett to establish the 501c3 the American Heros Foundation. His compassion for fellow First Responder families vowed his foundation never to turn a Veteran or First Responder away for needed help. As Garrett moves forward to create a new life responding to less physical emergencies, he will tell you he is addicted to service.
In early 2017, this hero and advocate for Veterans / First Responders now turned author will launch his first written works titled “A Hero’s Natural Response: Garrett M. Goodwin’s Journey Through Life and Rescue Work.” Also, he will be previewing “In His Own Words” documentary short during the Sundance Film Festival 2017 #IndieLounge, based upon his rescue experience at Ground Zero. Garrett has never looked back to regret any of his decisions and continues to live by the saying “you don’t know what you can do unless you try it.”
Moving forward for the New Year, Goodwin plans to respond to emergencies from the position of an advocate
now living in Knoxville, TN. and says, “I am addicted to service, and there is no disease that can slow down my
determination or plague my drive.”