When Portales resident Floyd Hancock, a lieutenant at the Portales Fire Department, saw Battalion Chief Lance Hill was calling him, he thought the worst.
“When he first called,” Hancock said with a laugh, “I thought, ‘What did I forget?’”
When he answered, he found out he was chosen as the area’s best paramedic.
The Paramedic of the Year Award, given by the Fraternal Order of the Eagles out of Clovis, is picked from a pool of nominees from fire departments within a 60-mile radius of Clovis.
Ron Edwards, of the Order of the Eagles and a former Clovis fire chief, said the nominee is chosen for their commitment to their community.
“What they do for the department and what they do for their community are the two major things we look for,” said Edwards. “It just comes down to who gets the most votes and points.”
He said he was not sure the year the award began, but the order has given it for many years as a way “to give back something to the people who protect us.”
Hancock said he had no idea he had even been nominated the award.
“I think it’s an honor,” Hancock said. “It’s an honor to be recognized by your department and the Eagles.”
Portales Fire Chief Gary Nuckols said he nominated Hancock for the award based on his commitment and his dedication to emergency medical services in the local area.
“But,” Nuckols said, “he is also very devoted to teaching not only in our service but in Roosevelt County and I think that is a characteristic that stands out. He is very knowledgeable in what he does.”
All members of the department have some form of emergency medical technician (EMT) and paramedic training.
Firefighter/paramedic Randy Soto said he enjoys serving with Hancock and believes he deserved to receive such an honor.
“I can honestly say our job is tough, but having someone like him to lean on makes it a lot easier,” Soto said. “There’s not a more deserving guy as far as I’m concerned.”
Firefighter/EMT-Intermediate Chris Smith agreed that Hancock was very deserving of the award.
“They took every paramedic from this area and they chose him,” Smith said. “I’m proud of him. I think he deserves it.”
Hancock said what he loves about his job is being able to help people in the community.
“I’ve lived here my whole life and the reason I started doing this was because I wanted to help people of this community,” he said. “I know most of the people in the community. It’s easy to treat patients here, because they feel like family.”