While firefighters and paramedics are out saving lives, an entire support structure at home is rarely acknowledged: their wives and husbands.
The Aubrey Fire Department, however, took time Saturday night to recognize their spouses. First responders, local elected officials and community members packed into the Aubrey Area Library community room for dinner, speeches and awards. Firefighter Bryan Cruze organized the event.
Keynote speaker for the evening, Sheila Elliott, is an EMS instructor. She gave a lighthearted talk on the lives of those who are married to firefighters.
“We know you guys, firemen, EMS, y’all are heroes, and it’s really cool being married to one,” Elliott said. “We also know we have to explain to people that, ‘Yes, he’s working; no, I don’t know when he’ll be here; yes, we’re still married; and no, he’s not imaginary.’”
Four firefighters and one Denton County sheriff’s deputy received the life-saving award this year for saving 39-year-old Jereme Martin, who collapsed at his kitchen table one day.
“There’s no higher calling than to save another man’s life,” Lt. Walter Wineberg said. “It’s a long process. It doesn’t start with us; it doesn’t end with us. We’re just fortunate enough to be a part of it.
Paramedics from Aubrey Fire Station 2 responded to a report of a fall on July 26, 2015. The family was performing CPR on Martin when Deputy Sam Blunk arrived. Blunk took over CPR until the ambulance arrived.
“From early and effective CPR provided by family members, Deputy Blunk and the fast and accurate ACLS (advanced cardiac life-saving) intervention from members of the Aubrey Fire Department, Mr. Martin is alive and well today,” Wineberg said.
Firefighters Clayton Smith, Garrett Josey, Matt Lollar and Brett Housewright received the life-saving award. Lollar also received the EMS member-of-the-year award.
Mayors Steve Smith of Cross Roads and Dave Schuck of Providence Village were also at the event, praising the department that also serves their towns.
Local businesses funded the dinner and donated items for the silent auction. Attendees also donated peanut butter for the H.O.P.E. Food Bank in Aubrey.