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Firefighter Ministry honors emergency responders

November 11, 2018

SCOTTSBLUFF — Officials with Firefighter Ministry honored area emergency responders during ceremonies the organization hopes to make an annual event at First Baptist Church in Scottsbluff Wednesday.

Top Cop was Tim Lordino of Chadron Police Department. Phenomenal Firefighter was Darrell Vance of Gering Fire Department. Extreme EMT was Courtney Miley of Valley Ambulance. Dynamic Dispatcher was Stacey Fisher of Scotts Bluff County Communications.

Firefighter Ministry coordinator Carissa Smith said, “We decided to do this because we see the people working in the field. The firefighters, the paramedics, the police officers and we work with the dispatcher over the phone. We see what they do and we wanted to honor them and do something for them.”

The award recipients were decided by a committee, Smith said.

“I myself was not on the committee. I felt like I knew them all too well. I chose a committee and they chose from the people that were nominated. The committee was from the First Baptist Church group that runs the Firefighter Ministry.”

The phenomenal firefighter was Darrell Vance of the Gering Fire Department. He was nominated by a family member who recognized his dedication to service. When Vance received the award, he choked back tears.

“I have been been firefighting for 37 years,” Vance said. “I want to make it to 50 years as an active member.”

Vance joined the Gering Fire Department in 1981.

“I quit farming and I needed something to do. I thought that was the best thing I could do, help the community. I have served the people of Gering. The last five years I have been on several state committees. (During) fire school, I go down and work the whole week. I have about 12 different meetings a year I go to.”

Vance was humbled by the award.

“It means a lot that my daughter put my name in for (it). I was humbled.”

Miley of Valley Ambulance was nominated by a patient she treated at an accident. Ten days later she treated that patient’s son at another accident. The nominator said she was impressed with Miley’s caring attitude. When Miley saw the patients later, she asked how they were doing.

Miley said, “I started with Valley Ambulance in July of 2015. I was an advanced EMT at that time. I recently got my paramedic in December of 2017. I have been working for Randy for 3 ½ years. I started with a volunteer service in Wyoming when I was a basic EMT. I really enjoyed it so I went on to get my advanced EMT and then paramedic.”

Miley spoke about the importance of this recognition.

“It’s kind of crazy, it is one thing that I never expected. I just go to work and do my job that I love to do. I get to see great people throughout the community. Thinking that someone in the community nominated me, I am very honored that someone thought that highly of me.”

Fisher of Scotts Bluff County Communications was named the Dynamic Dispatcher. Communications director Ray Richards had nominated the entire communications center staff for their dedication in answering over 53,000 phone calls in the last year for 62 agencies. The committee picked Fisher to received the award.

Fisher said, “I have been at the 911 center for 3 ½ years and I was 14 years at Regional West Communications. The honor is outstanding. I am really thrilled to be given an award like this. I know that the program that they have is outstanding. They (Firefighter Ministry) are available anytime that we call them; Carissa and Chris are right there when we call them. They are helping out the community and I am glad that they are here.

Lordino of the Chadron Police Department was nominated by a crash victim. Lordino had responded to a motorcycle crash five miles south of Chadron. The victim and his wife were taken to the hospital and Lordino followed up by visiting them in the hospital to see how they were doing. Lordino was not able to be present for the ceremony.

The Firefighter Ministry plans to make this an annual event. Look for more information next year and be prepared to make a nomination.

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