State recognizes local EMTs for response to tornado

September 18, 2013

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Texas EMS Operations Manager Cliff Montemayor said that first responders aren’t in the business to draw praise and attention to themselves.

However, when the accolades are showered, it’s “truly appreciated.”

Gov. Rick Perry authorized an official state certificate of recognition for the Texas EMS first responders who rushed to the scene of devastation caused by the EF4 tornado that struck the Rancho Brazos subdivision on May 15, killing six people and injuring more than 100 others.

Montemayor said the document was presented as a surprise to the EMTs when they met Thursday night at a local restaurant.

“Last night, it became emotional for several people to re-live that event,” Montemayor said Friday, noting that it was to highlight both their response and organization. “Medics are usually forgotten. This was for them and about them.”

The certificate, dated July 23, states, in part:

“Although seven Texas EMS employees were on duty, 17 more off-duty personnel joined them, immediately responding to the desperate needs of their community that night. The leadership and selflessness shown by the men and women of Texas EMS in the immediate aftermath of this disaster went above and beyond the call of duty. First Lady Anita Perry joins me in sending our sincere thanks for your dedication and service to your fellow Texans.”

George Grim, clinical manager for Texas EMS in Granbury, nominated the crew for their outstanding work done on that horrific night. He called the governor’s office in July and found out about the certificate being available to honor such groups.

“I think the work they did was well deserving of it,” Grim said. “I’m proud of them, and they all did an amazing job – not only that night but in the days and weeks to come.”

The certificate was mounted on a plaque and a plate bearing the names of the EMTs who responded was placed just below the document. Each of those cited on the plaque got their own copy of the official state of Texas certificate.

“I’m ecstatic,” Montemayor said of the recognition received by the EMTs. “EMS very rarely gets recognition, and these guys worked so hard that night. They were up for countless hours. The teamwork was outstanding that night, and through the next few weeks.”

He said the plaque, which is about 16 inches tall and a foot wide, will be on display in the Texas EMS crew room.

“It will be up there for all of them to see every day,” Montemayor said.

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