Tulsa Rotary Honors Police Officer, Firefighter Of The Year

Wednesday, February 18th 2015, 6:47 pm
By: News On 6

Tulsa's Rotary selected its firefighter and police officer of the year. The Rotary honors those who go above and beyond in their duties, not just at work, but in the community.

This year's award winners were firefighter Earl Blevins and Tulsa police officer Tony First.

Blevins was a bronco buster on the rodeo circuit for years before becoming a Tulsa firefighter 19 years ago.

Inside the chiseled and hard cowboy beats the heart of a gentle man who was drawn to a job that allowed him to help others in their greatest time of need.

Eventually Blevins got involved with the Make-A-Wish organization and, once again, began helping people during their darkest days.

"To see kids get excited when sometimes their situations aren't very good and the outcome is not very promising, it's pretty neat to be a part of that," Blevins said.

He said he can't imagine not donating his time to Make-A-Wish. It's not only in his heart to do so, but he said it's in his roots, his nature and his DNA.

"I come from good parents, they're givers. We live in a world where a lot of people take," Blevins said.

First has been an EMT for 23 years and a paramedic for 21.

"I fell in love with where my EMS career crosses law enforcement," he said.

When Oklahoma needed an agency to be the pilot program for training officers to carry Narcan, a nasal spray that can save people who have overdosed on opiate based drugs, Tulsa said yes; it made sense that First would be the one to head it up.

He's trained more than 500 officers with Tulsa and other 12 other departments.

It didn't take long after the training to start hearing the success stories from officers in the field who deployed Narcan and saved a life.

"In one case, a minister who mixed up his medications - thought he was taking allergy meds but mixed them up by accident and took a fair amount of opiate based drugs. He was calling 911 when he passed out. He pulled over and one of our officers deployed the Narcan and brought him back," First said.

Tulsa officers have now saved 31 lives with the skills they've learned from him.