With great pride, Bo Trumbo presents new nylon USA and Virginia flags to Daniel Markley and Renee Mullin of the Emergency Medical Services of Craig County.Pam Dudding
When Craig County residents travel in and out of New Castle on Route 311 they often drive by the Emergency Medical Services building.
Some calls were recently made to the office because their flags had gotten entangled in limbs of the 50-foot tree adjacent from the flagpoles.
Jim Cady, the Craig County Emergency Management and Emergency Services Coordinator, had wanted to replace them.
“I was surprised at how many people saw those flags and called and asked me about getting it fixed,” Cady said. “There are a lot of people in the community that saw them, but we had a problem because we didn’t have the money to afford a boom truck to cut the limbs.”
Eventually, someone agreed to loan them a “real long pole saw,” however, it took three weeks to arrive.
They were then able to get the limbs cut off and the old flags down.
As fate would have it, Cady got a phone call from Bo Trumbo asking if he needed flags. EMS team personnel were happy and appreciative when they found out that the Trumbo family was going to donate both an American and Virginia flag.
“They needed a flag,” Trumbo noted as he held the new nylon flags. “All the Trumbo families give back. All four siblings, including myself, Marion ‘Bo’ of New Castle, Malfourd ‘Bo’ and Susan of Fincastle, Linda of Covington and Robert ‘Bo’ and Teresa of Holly Springs, North Carolina.
The Trumbo family has a long history of serving the local, state, national and international governments. Bo shared that the family felt that “the donation of these flags to the citizens of Craig County is a great tribute to this great nation, the United States of America.”
He added, “We feel it is our civic responsibility.”
Trumbo contacted the offices of Morgan Griffith and Joe McNamara to obtain them over Christmas. He added, “I was talking to my sister and she got really excited about it. It’s important to us.”
Cady talked about burying a conduit to provide electrical cable for lighting. Lieutenant Renee Mullins noted that they had thought about it, but were unsure about what was underground and had not yet proceeded but hope to soon.
The EMS sign was built in Daniel Markley’s garage. Markley, who is a part-time EMS worker, works on various projects. He is a fulltime employee at the VA. He is also retired from the Coast Guard where he says he served “19 years, eight months and some change.” Mullins helped with the sign and together, they added colorful flowers from last year.
Mullins noted she felt it needed to be repainted soon.
Cady shared that many times the EMS staff has worked on projects while they are awaiting a call. He added that they completely remodeled the building they are currently in.
Mullins and Cady shared that citizens of Craig have been gracious in donating some furniture and kitchen equipment. It’s not uncommon for workers to pull a 12-hour shift followed by an immediate 24-hour shift.
“We currently have 22 career staff and four full-timers in Chief Daryl Humphreys, Lieutenant Renee Mullins, Heather Matheney and Amber Charette,” Cady said before adding, “All other shifts are covered with part-timers and they all pull a lot of shifts, mostly 12-24-hour shifts.”
Monday through Friday, EMS has paid career staff, with part-timers filling in the remainder, while the Volunteer Squad covers most weekends.
The EMS in Craig is considered family to some residents. “Some patients know what days we work and ask if a particular person is working when they call in,” Mullins said.
Cady added with a grin, “People call me at his home on occasion to see who is working, before they call in. People have their favorites.”
Mullins noted, “It comes down to the fact that if you get comfortable with someone, and the EMS worker takes good care of you, you want to ask that person again if they’re needed.” Craig County EMS workers take that to heart.
In fact, Cady expressed that one full-time worker just resigned from her job in Roanoke to take a full-time position with the Craig County EMS, taking a nearly $4.00 per hour cut in pay. “We don’t pay as much as Roanoke City and Salem, that is why we have all Craig County people on the four full-time staff,” Cady said. “We really have good people here.”
And that they do. Trumbo presented two new flags to Markley, Mullins and Cady and they were immediately raised on the flagpoles. It seemed that a price tag couldn’t be placed on the picture of the faces of the EMS workers and Trumbo as pride, respect and citizenship shown through with such great integrity.