Monday, December 10, 2012

In Memory of Craig A. Helms

On December 11th, 2005, Alexander Rescue Squad lost a very well respected and dedicated member.  Craig Helms was a man that many people still admire.

At an early age Craig was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis, a disease that caused him to eventually be forced to have a double lung transplant. After his first lung transplant, Craig's desire to help others was then focused into the rescue service. He served as a very active member of Alexander Rescue Squad, participating in extensive training and responding to emergencies. Against doctors wishes he continued to participate in each and every aspect of the rescue service. Several times while performing training exercises Craig would get short of breath and people would often say, "Craig why don't you take it easy". His response was most always "YOU NEVER GIVE UP".

After a while Craig's breathing problems got harder and harder to cope with and finally he had to be admitted to the hospital. Craig spent several days in Duke University Medical Center in Durham, NC. He was placed on a waiting list for a lung transplant once again. Even though his days were much harder then we could imagine, he still managed to keep his smile and sense of humor.

Craig went on to get those new lungs he was waiting for on December 11th of 2005. Still to this day he is touching lives by the life he lived here on this earth. This post serves as a memorial and also a reminder that we can NEVER GIVE UP. Craig never gave up on that set of lungs he needed, and boy did he get them. He's not suffering anymore; he can breathe just fine. But I know if Craig could talk to us right now what he would say. He'd say...
"I know you guys miss me, and I miss you all too, but you know, you can see me again. You just have to make sure that you accept Jesus as your Savior and then we will spend eternity together. Make sure you settle things soon though; you never know when your day will come. I Love You and I'll see you all soon......NEVER GIVE UP..."
That’s the short story of the life of Craig Allen Helms, husband, father, and friend. May we never forget the life and the legacy that he left for us all and always remember that we can NEVER GIVE UP!!!

Darren Chewning

Awards Given at Annual Christmas Party

Alexander Rescue Squad held its annual Christmas party and awards ceremony on Saturday, December 1st, 2012.
Members and families, along with a few other special guests enjoyed a wonderful meal provided by Sisters II Catering, while fellowshipping with friends and family. Following the meal there was an awards ceremony where several members were recognized.

The following awards were presented:

Squad Person of the Year - Keith Milsaps (presented by Stacey Pons)

Captains Choice - Keith Milsaps

Service Awards

Billy Killian - 25 years

Anthony St.Clair - 20 years

Derek Getz - 10 years

Other service awards were presented to Heather Ingram for 10 years and Gina Jordan for 15 years.

Nanthaniel Hines a Senior at Alexander Central and a member of Ellendale Fire Department was recognized by the Squad for his extrordinary service to his community and his fire department. Nathaniel has a physical impairment and is unable to hear without assistance of an implant. Nathaniel is an active member of the Alexander County Honor Guard and recently was involved with the opening of the new Alexander County Law Enforcement Center and a funeral for a fellow firefighter. Nathaniel's impairment doesn't prevent his willingness to serve his community and he gives back abundantly. He was given honorary membership as a Rescue Squad member.

A special thank you to Wilkes Rescue Squad for providing coverage for us during the event.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Paragon Films Donates to Alexander Rescue Squad

(l-r) Terry Foxx-Captain, Scott King – Paragon Films Plant Manager and Keith Millsaps –Board President

In today’s tough economic times organizations that rely on donations for operating expenses must make every dollar count and those organizations must reach out to all for assistance. We in emergency services know the importance of good community relations and must have the ability to reach out to those private and non-governmental partners when seeking funding sources. Each year Alexander Rescue Squad holds its annual portrait fund raiser. This is accomplished through a mass mailing that goes to each property owner in the county which gives that property owner the ability to donate to Alexander Rescue Squad. Alexander Rescue Squad has been very fortunate and truly blessed to receive many generous donations throughout the years.

Once such donation came recently from Paragon Films Inc. Rescue Squad Captain, Terry Foxx received a call from the industry requesting he and the Board President meet with Paragon officials to receive a donation. The meeting was arranged and both Foxx and Board President Keith Millsaps meet with Paragon Films on March 26, 2012. At the meeting Paragon presented the Squad a check for $1,500.00. Paragon Plant Manager, Scott King stated Paragon’s mission was “building others and helping humanity”. Mr. King stated as he had traveled about Alexander County he had seen on a number of occasions when Alexander Rescue Squad had been out helping others and after Paragon’s corporate office had received the Squad’s general fund raiser letter, discussions between the corporate office and the Alexander County facility had generated the donation. Mr. King stated that Paragon was a community based and a service oriented company and they wanted to give back to the communities where they are located.

Alexander Rescue Squad would like to take the opportunity to Thank Paragon Films, Inc for the generous donation and to all others who have donated throughout the years. Alexander Rescue Squad has been in operation since 1959, providing a variety of specialized rescue services to the citizens of Alexander County.

Alexander Rescue Squad is a member of the United Way of Alexander County and if you are interested in becoming a member please join us at one of our regular meetings on the 2nd or 4th Thursday night of each month or if you would like to make a donation please send that to P.O. Box 938, Taylorsville. The Squad’s base is located at 197 Emergency Street, Taylorsville. If you would like more information please email us at or contact our base @ 828-632-9410.

Derek Getz
Public Relations Officer
Alexander Rescue Squad