June 05, 2019
NOT FOR EXTERNAL DISTRIBUTION
Source: Corpus Christi Caller Times
Author: Alexandria Rodriguez
Raymond Naranjo knew he wanted to be a firefighter when he was deployed overseas.
Naranjo, an Army veteran and Robstown native, was deployed to Iraq in 2003. He spent a year there.
"There was a Humvee on fire. There was a fire department out there at our base," Naranjo said. "I saw these firefighters get off, get dressed, put out the fire and I was like 'Wow.'"
Corpus Christi Firefighter/EMT Raymond Naranjo, a Robstown native, received the Corpus Christi Medical Center's EMS of the Year - Brilliant Star of Life Award on Tuesday, June 4, 2019. (Photo: Alexandria Rodriguez/Caller-Times)
Naranjo came back to the U.S. and enrolled in Del Mar College's Fire Academy and EMT program.
After 12 years with the department, Naranjo received Corpus Christi Medical Center's EMS of the Year - Brilliant Star of Life Award.
Naranjo received "an overwhelming number of votes from staff and physicians at Bay Area, the Heart Hospital, Doctor's Regional and Northshore and Northwest emergency centers," said Angela Rhoden, Director of EMS relations at Corpus Christi Medical Center.
Winners are selected based on the person's ability to put patients' needs before themselves and going above and beyond the call of duty, Rhoden said.
Narajno was given a plaque and enjoyed the moment with his wife, Lisa, and his three boys.
It's not the first time Naranjo received an award. He was given a Life-Saving award from the City of Robstown for his work as a registered nurse at the Corpus Christi Medical Center.
Lisa Naranjo, twins Maddox and Mateo and Mason pose for a photo with Corpus Christi Firefighter/EMT Raymond Naranjo. Raymond Naranjo, a Robstown native, received the Corpus Christi Medical Center's EMS of the Year - Brilliant Star of Life Award on Tuesday, June 4, 2019. (Photo: Alexandria Rodriguez/Caller-Times)
Robstown paramedics brought a patient to the hospital where Naranjo continued CPR. The life-saving act brought the man back to life.
"Meeting the family, the joy they had in their eyes. They were so excited," Naranjo said. "It was really special. A really special moment."
As for Naranjo's work with the fire department, he thanks the crew at Corpus Christi Fire Station No. 12 for always being there.
"I'm never alone in the medic unit," he said. "Everywhere we go someone's with me. It just shows the hard work, dedication and customer service that we provide."
Firefighter/EMT Curtis Meeks, and Robert Lopez, of Allegiance EMS, also received the EMS of the Year award. They did not attend Tuesday's ceremony.