By Ed Brock
Two area emergency medical personnel have captured top honors for their district.
Forest Park Fire Department Firefighter and Paramedic Carter Cagle has been named Paramedic of the Year for District III of the state Office of Emergency Medical Services. Clayton County Fire Department Firefighter and Emergency Medical Technician Laura Myers has been named the district's EMT of the Year.
Myers and Cagle received the awards during a Feb. 20 luncheon.
"I just rolled over," Cagle said about hearing he'd won the award. "I just felt real, real happy just to be nominated. I didn't expect to win the award."
Cagle said he was still so excited after the luncheon that he had to let his wife Harriett drive home. Myers also said she was surprised by her victory.
"It was exciting, very exciting," Myers said.
Myers has been with the Clayton County department since November 2001. She is continuing her paramedic education and is also a CPR instructor. A letter from a member of the community Myers serves described her as having "demonstrated shining examples of dedicated service."
Her selection is an honor for the department and "an acknowledgement of the great standard of training and performance our department provides and expects," Clayton County Fire Chief Alex Cohilas said.
Cagle has been with the Forest Park department since 1973 and a paramedic since 1977. He has become "a fixture in the community," according to the nominating letter from Forest Park Fire Maj. Paul Beamon.
"Mr. Cagle also has saved the life of more people within the city as well as having the most saves of any member in our department and I would venture to guess in the county," Beamon said in the letter. "People within the city have been quoted as saying that if anything ever happened to them that they wanted Carter to be the one that was there to take care of them."
Carter said he wants to thank his father Ralph M. Cagle, who is now dead, for leading him into the field. He said he also thanks his mother Marge, his wife and his sister Martha Cagle for their support.
Myers said she is thankful for her supervisor, Sgt. Dwayne Casteel, who nominated her for the award.
"I was flattered. I had every confidence that he knew what he was doing, he's been in the business so long," Myers said.
District III includes Douglas, Cobb, Fulton, Gwinnett and Newton counties along with Clayton County.