By Argen Duncan: PNT senior writer
The Floyd Fire Department and three Roosevelt County individuals won awards at the Region 3 Emergency Medical Services Conference earlier this month in Ruidoso.
Roosevelt County took all of the awards at the conference, which includes EMS providers from across eastern New Mexico.
Colleen Tollett of Causey Fire Department was named EMS Provider of the Year.
Dr. Matthew D. Foster of Roosevelt General Hospital and Jack Manis of Dora each won a Special Recognition Award.
The Floyd Fire Department was honored as Organization of the Year.
Floyd Fire Department
Portales Fire Chief Gary Nuckols, who supported the nomination of Floyd Fire Department, said the department recently became a Public Regulation Commission-certified ambulance service. Floyd’s volunteer personnel often handle patient transfers for Portales and Clovis as well.
“They really became a great asset to our county,” Nuckols said.
Floyd EMS Director Delbert Rector said the Organization of the Year award is given based on service, growth and dedication to the job.
Rector and Fire Chief Allen Deen said the department has grown from 12 volunteers to 41, with 21 active, in the past three years. They have added vehicles, as well as increasing the number of paramedics and intermediate Emergency Medical Technicians.
Department personnel were shocked and pleased to receive the award, Rector said.
“God has put us in a place to grow and to better serve our community,” he said. “We’re here for our community first.”
Manis is an intermediate EMT and has volunteered with Dora Fire Department for 39 years.
“It’s just something you feel like the community needs,” Manis said.
Dora Village Clerk Becky Fraze nominated Manis for the honor, which recognizes an outstanding contribution to EMS.
“Jack’s dedication to service has been a great example for all of us to follow,” she said.
For eight years of his service, Fraze said, Manis was one of five EMTs, and for a time, he went on 98 percent of the ambulance runs. Manis also served as fire chief for 12 years.
Fraze said Manis also helped Dora Fire Department become one of the first in the county to carry a defibrillator.
“Jack Manis has dedicated many hours of unselfish service to the Village of Dora,” she said in her nomination letter.
Dr. Matthew D. Foster
Foster, an emergency room doctor, said he was surprised to receive the award.
“I’m very honored, very humbled by it,” he said.
For 17 years, Foster has worked in emergency rooms in eastern New Mexico. He helps with EMS oversight and paramedic training in Chaves County and serves on the Medical Direction Committee for EMS in the area.
“I just love working with these folks,” he said of EMS personnel.
Foster likes emergency medical practice because he enjoys the tasks, the people and the control over his schedule.
Certified Family Nurse Practitioner Connie Belcher of RGH’s emergency room nominated Foster for his award. Belcher said Foster advocates for EMS providers in the hospital and the field, as well as mentoring pre-medicine and paramedic students.
She also said Foster supports nurse practitioners doing mid-level emergency room work.
“I’m telling you, if you ever get hurt or injured, this is the guy you want taking care of you,” Belcher said.
Causey Fire Department EMS Capt. Ann Clark nominated Tollett for her award.
Soon after Tollett began her EMT class, she was diagnosed with a significant health problem, Clark said. However, Tollett continued with her class, teaching job and other responsibilities.
“She’s just been a great asset to our department,” Clark said.
She said Tollett has inspired her with her outlook on life and not letting her health problem get in the way of the jobs she wanted to do.
Tollett said she was surprised and honored by the award. She said support from family and friends, as well as the structure of the Region 3 EMS classes made it possible for her to continue her training.
“We really need EMTs out in the community,” Tollett said. “It’s a wonderful community, and this is one way I can give back to my community.”