Home News Local News Midway Fire assists fellow fireman in coma

Midway Fire assists fellow fireman in coma

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From left to right, members Lawrence Daveed, Reed Wheeler, David Bugarin, and David Sutherland of Midway Fire and EMS rest against their fire engine Wednesday afternoon before speaking with the Daily Record on a charity event they will be holding for their friend and fellow firefighter, Richard Brown, who is more often regarded as "Rich." Midway firefighters said Brown has been under intensive care for more than three weeks due to pancreatitis, and that they hope to raise money to help with Brown's medical expenses. (Trevier Gonzalez Photo)

Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record

Members of Midway Fire and EMS and other local volunteer fire departments will unite in Roswell Saturday morning to raise money for a Midway firefighter who has been under intensive care for more than three weeks due to a case of pancreatitis.

Sixty-year-old Richard Brown, a captain who has been with Midway fire for three years, is considered a brother by everyone within the department. David Bugarin, also a volunteer firefighter, is no exception.

Bugarin said the event aimed to lessen Brown’s medical bills will take place in front of Title Max at 701 S. Main St. at 10 a.m. Saturday with no closing time.

“We don’t have a set goal, it’s just whatever we can get,” Bugarin said. “Anything helps in a situation like this. Just whatever we can do. Every dollar we get is going to go to his family.

“I don’t have brothers or anything like that, so I see him as an older brother. We joke around a lot, we talk a lot. I mean — he’s there for everybody.”

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Midway Fire’s EMS Chief, Stacie Nason, who is also assisting in the charitable event, recalls the moment when Brown had called 911.

“As soon as I got in my truck and realized it was his address that I was coming to, I knew it was serious,” Nason said. “That’s what we’re trying to do now — we’re trying to get this started just to raise some funds to help his family out.

“Right now, that’s the last thing that we want them to have to worry about, is money — that’s what they got us for. That’s the whole point of being part of this, you know? We’re a family.”

Reed Wheeler, an engineer for Midway Fire, said himself and fellow members heard Brown needed help, they didn’t hesitate to act.

“It was already in motion, trying to help the family before he ever got to the hospital,” Wheeler said. “And it just hasn’t stopped.”

Midway Fire EMT Lawrence Daveed, who gives respect to Brown as both a teacher and friend, said Brown is someone he could depend on, and wants to see him back at the station.

“As an EMT, when I’m focused on my patient, sometimes I’m not always paying attention to what the people around me are doing, so it’s nice to have Rich that’s focused on those people whose focused on me,” Daveed said. “I mean — I’ve fought in a couple fires with Rich — he’s a guy you can trust.

“When you go into a fire, you could make a mistake, and somebody’s going to die — Rich is one of those guys you can trust. Not only with fighting fire, but with other things, like personal problems.

“I’ve talked to Rich about certain things, he’s given me advice and helped me through stuff.”

Nason, an EMS Clinical Coordinator at ENMU-R, also has an appreciation for Brown’s character as an instructor.

“If they do something wrong, he’s not harsh with them,” Nason said. “He takes them, and corrects them, and makes them learn, and makes it fun.”

Wheeler said he always includes Brown for the training sessions held at the station.

“It’s fun to watch him teach — it really is,” Wheeler said. “It’s comical, it’s fun — and they walk away knowing more than they did, and the cool thing about it is they know the right way.”

Midway Fire Chief Ornell Fuller echoed how Brown has acted as a mentor for younger firefighters.

“When we first started this department in 1983, our motto was, ‘Do unto others as you’d have them do unto you.’ That’s what we’ve always tried to do.”

The Midway Fire Chief said, and members around him agreed, if something would happen to them, they know Brown would help the very same way.

“As Rich and I have both come to agree, we are one big dysfunctional, happy family,” Wheeler said. “All different races, creeds, colors, backgrounds, and that’s one thing that I really respect about Rich, and what really draws people to him.”

Bugarin, who will continue to see Brown as a brother, said the department just wants to see him back home.

“Because Rich is always there for anybody,” Bugarin said. “It doesn’t matter what time it is, it doesn’t matter what’s going on — he’s there. He’s there to help everybody and anybody that needs help — he’s been there for me hundreds of times.”

In addition, a GoFundMe account created by Midway Fire and EMS will continue to accept donations, which can be reached at gofundme.com/d3xbm-help-for-rich.

Multimedia-Crime reporter Trevier Gonzalez can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 301, or at breakingnews@rdrnews.com.