‘Born to save lives’
by By Tim Delaney Progress Editor
Feb 10, 2013 | 2116 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tim Delaney photo.Glenda Riley will always respond to accidents if she feels needed. She says she cares about people as if they were her own family. The decal on her truck says "Born to save lives."
Tim Delaney photo.Glenda Riley will always respond to accidents if she feels needed. She says she cares about people as if they were her own family. The decal on her truck says "Born to save lives."
When Glenda Riley gets positive feedback on her volunteer emergency response work, her desire to help ramps up threefold.

The emergency responder said she thinks of accident victims as family or loved ones.

“If it was your family member, friend, wouldn’t you want to go help them? A lot of times, ambulances are out, so I go,” Riley said.

Riley uses her own pickup equipped with emergency materials to respond to serious accidents near Oakville.

Riley has been a volunteer for 16 years, and she said she has no intention of stopping.

She has been a licensed ECA for more than 14 years.

Recently, she said AirLife and HALO emergency helicopter services praised her for using a KED on a 4-year-old girl. The KED may have saved the little girl’s life.

“I got there before the ambulance,” Riley said.

“That 4-year-old had internal injuries. That (KED) is what saved her life,” Riley said

HALO Flight presented her with a baseball cap. And she received other appreciation gifts, as well.

A KED, or Kendrick Extrication Device, is typically applied by an emergency medical technician, paramedic, or another first responder, according to wikipedia.

A KED is a semi-rigid brace that secures the head, neck and torso in an anatomically neutral position, which reduces the possibility of more injuries.

Johnny Garcia, a driver for Charlie’s Wrecker Service in Three Rivers, said he heard that HALO and AirFlight thanked Riley for saving the 4-year-old girl.

The 4-year-old had been ejected from a Tahoe that rolled over several times south of the rest stop on Interstate 37 on Jan. 3.

“She’s got that jacket (KED). She takes it and covers somebody up. She’s willing to help as much as she can,” Garcia said.

“Every accident I have gone to close by Oakville, she’s right there helping out,” he added.

In the accident with the 4-year-old, four others had been transported by helicopter to San Antonio and Corpus Christi.

“There’s two people on an ambulance, and they can’t take care of five people,” Garcia said.

“She carries a bag with all the stuff in it – probably medical equipment,” Garcia said.

Riley, also a member of the Three Rivers Volunteer Fire Department for the past six to eight months, has a daughter who just graduated from Angel Care EMT school in Beeville.

“She is following in my footsteps,” Riley said.

Riley was born in Robstown in 1956 and will be 57 on July 27.

“I moved all around. Dad worked for Brown & Root, so we traveled a lot,” she said.

But about 20 years ago, she was electrocuted by a phone at a pay phone station.

“I lost a lot of memory because of that,” she said.

Now, for the past four years, she has worked as a pit cook for Van’s BBQ in Oakville.

Previously, Riley lived in Lometa where she received a proclamation for her service from the town’s mayor, Bob McClinton.

In Lampasas County, Riley was the sole responder for the majority of the time.

“I was doing so much for the community, so the community wanted to do something for me. So they came up with “Glenda Riley Day, June 25.”

The proclamation states:

“Whereas, the people of Lometa are proud to join with the mayor, city council, Lometa Volunteer Fire Department and others honoring a volunteer/public servant, Glenda Riley, and....

“Whereas, be it known that Glenda has unselfishly donated numerous hours of her own time for the betterment of our community, and....

“Whereas, Glenda Riley’s unselfish dedication to the citizens of Lometa over and above the call of duty as a volunteer firefighter/EMS responder, and....

“Whereas, is quick and faithful to respond to the needs of others without thought of any inconvenience to herself, and....

“Whereas, from time to time, as she fulfills the role of volunteer, it has come to our attention that Glenda can be and is part of the time a real pain in the butt.”

The mayor, exercising some humor about Riley’s passion to help, then proclaimed June 25 as Glenda Riley Day in Lometa.

One thing is certain about Riley from the decal on her pickup that describes her: “Born to Save Lives.”

“Being a first responder is all on you. The wear and tear is all on me. I use my own vehicle, my own gas – it’s what we do as a first responder,” Riley said.

Sadly, Riley said there were times she could not respond because she didn’t have the fuel to get her there.

But she responds anytime she can.

Garcia said he is impressed at Riley’s willingness to respond. He said not everybody will do that.

“She’s ready to help,” he said.

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