HOMETOWN HEROES – Dan Delgado, firefighter and EMS

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This week's Hometown Hero, Dan Delgado and family (l-r) Daniel, Cris, Dan and Chelsea.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Residents of Stephenville, and the rest of Erath County, are very fortunate to have many men and women who make living here safe, many of whom are volunteers. They are Hometown Heroes! These people keep us safe and we owe them our thanks and our respect.  THANK YOU!

By DAVID SWEARINGEN
TheFlashToday.com

STEPHENVILLE (September 9, 2016) – The Flash would like to recognize Dan Delgado as this week’s HOMETOWN HERO.

Delgado lives in Dublin, with his wife of 32 years, Cris.  They have three children: Thomas Lancaster, Daniel Delgado and Chelsea Delgado.  Cris is retired from FMC Technologies.

Born in Ozona on December 1, 1959, Delgado said he worked part-time at FMC Technologies in his younger days. Although he was born in Ozona, Delgado spent most of his childhood and teen years in Garland, where he graduated from South Garland High School in 1978. He has one brother and two sisters.

To further his education, Delgado attended Lamar University, Cisco Junior College and later graduated from Tarleton State University in 1985.  He majored in biology with an emphasis on marine sciences. Delgado planned on using his education to work at Comanche Peak in Glen Rose. But when that did not work out, he did some construction work, bar-tending and worked at Appletons for a while. The he landed a job with the Richardson Fire Department, where he has worked for the past 30 years.  And although, he works in Richardson, Delgado is a definitely a hometown hero.

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When he hired on with the Richardson Fire Department, he was not previously trained in this field of work.  But Delgado said he worked approximately six months learning as he went through on-the-job training. He later received more training when it was made available to him. Delgado currently serves as a Firefighter and Paramedic for Richardson FD.

Delgado likes to cook and has become the Firehouse Cook at his station. He said after 9-11 there was a large increase in the number of candidates and people joining his profession. Delgado said many did not last long when they found out you don’t get to perform heroic deeds every single day. Some days can be slow and the department has to spend time cleaning, training, studying and performing maintenance and house cleaning duties.  This gives the department a chance to “refuel” for the next work day.

One minute things are calm and then an emergency can come out of nowhere with no warning. Delgado works 24 hours on and 48 hours off.  He says that his favorite part of the job is working with his co-workers and talking to people.  Anyone that has ever met Delgado can tell you that he is definitely not shy and he enjoys talking.

Delgado with the Dublin Knights of Columbus.
Delgado with the Dublin Knights of Columbus.

He has attended the Catholic Church for most of his life and currently attends the St. Mary’s Catholic Church with his family. Delgado has also been involved with the SVAB – high school arts boosters, SABC – the high school sports boosters and the Stephenville Fine Arts Council. He is, and nearly always has been, very active in the Knights of Columbus, which he has been a member for nearly 40 years.  He can always be spotted when the K of C are sponsoring a soccer tournament or a fish fry.

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Delgado’s interest and hobbies include dancing, golf and attending music festivals. Attending these music festivals he and Cris got to meet and become great friends with the Tejas Brothers. Delgado jokes with Tejas Brothers front man, Dave Perez, about the fact that Delgado is basically the third Tejas Brother.  Because, other than Dave and the bass player, Delgado has been around longer than any of the replacement players to the original band.  When the Tejas Brothers are in the Stephenville/Dublin area, Delgado often makes sure they come enjoy a meal with him.

When asked his most memorable events or happenings on the job, Delgado recalled the time he and his ambulance partner responded to a report of a crane operator stuck in a construction crane approximately 250-feet off the ground. The original thought was he might have had a heart attack.

When Delgado and his partner arrived on scene, they quickly went to work trying to reach the man. As they worked to quickly reach the man, the pair realized they did not have any safety belts or a way to tie onto the crane in case they slipped. Delgado said they had to crawl out to him very, very carefully.

As it turned out, Delgado said the operator had a serious problem with one of the discs in his back and basically could not move at all. He and his partner were eventually able to get another crane up to help get the man down.

Delgado said it was kind of odd the way it worked out because he and his partner did all the hard and dangerous part, and by the time the rescue mission was complete there were several other EMS personnel and media present. Delgado said some of the EMS crew that had just arrived ended up receiving all the press coverage and he and his partner were almost completely overlooked.

“Oh well,” Delgado said with his trademark grin, “That is not why we do the job.”

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A second memorable event was when he rescued an elderly lady from a second floor apartment fire in Richardson.  Unfortunately, they were unable to save her dog who died from smoke inhalation. Delgado said he was told this was the first actual live fire rescue in Richardson.

“I just want folks to know that for 30 years, I have truly enjoyed every, single day of this job,” Delgado said. “I appreciate the chance to help people and leave them better than I found them. When I see people, when they call for us, we’re with them at their absolute worst. You see them in the middle of the night, in the morning, they’ve had a wreck or some kind of accident, or even if it’s older people who are having problems with their health, personal stuff nobody needs to see. We go in there and try to keep the dignity there and be a friend and help them out. That’s what I have enjoyed – being able to take care of people like that. I try and keep them laughing and smiling and let them know that is what we are here for. We’re here to help, that’s it. And I’ve loved it.”

Delgado credits his wife for his success, saying without her support and encouragement he would probably be jobless and homeless.

Thank you, Danny Delgado, for the sacrifices you make in order to keep others safe.

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