Fundraiser planned to help Allen ‘Tiny’ Gray, who spent 62 years as a first responder
LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Allen ‘Tiny’ Gray started his public service career as a volunteer firefighter in Idalou at 17-years-old and spent the next 62 years as a first responder.
Tiny even helped train and inspire future EMTs, including his friend of 42 years, Gary Vaughn.
“When we got done with clinical rotations and I had to ride on the ambulance, Tiny was one of my preceptors. We just hit it off real well at the station, too, and him and his partner talked me into going on and becoming a paramedic,” Vaughn said.
Tiny even inspired his daughter, Staci Newton, to become an ER nurse. She says Tiny had a the same kind of impact on many more people.
“He has inspired generations of individuals to better themselves and better their education, from first responders, to medical personnel, to everyone he’s come in contact with,” Newton said.
Tiny was appointed as the Assistant Fire Chief of the Idalou Volunteer Fire Department in 1977, and was asked to establish an EMS service there. He achieved that and became its first director.
13 years later, in 1990, he moved to the Lubbock County Hospital District EMS. But Vaughn said Tiny didn’t stop there.
“Even when he retired from Lubbock, he didn’t hang up his badge. He worked for Shallowater EMS, he worked for Abernathy EMS, he worked for West Carlisle - that’s three in the five county services,” Vaughn said.
Tiny just let his paramedic certification go last year, right before he suffered a terrible fall.
“He fell a couple months ago and broke his neck. By the time we did get to surgery he had lost all feelings in his legs and all purposeful movement of his legs,” Newton said.
Now, Tiny needs a caregiver with him 24/7, physical therapy, and a lot of supplies. Newton says this can be costly, so his friend Vaughn is asking the community to come to their fundraiser on Saturday to pay Tiny back for his years of service.
“Somebody who gives that much now that it’s time that he can’t give anymore and is in a place of need, I hope that folks would step up and say, ‘We appreciate what you’ve done for the last 62 years. Let us help you with your issue now,’” Vaughn said.
The fundraiser will be held at the Lubbock Elks Lodge on 34th and Milwaukee on Saturday, Nov. 19.
Live auction items include a helicopter holiday light tour, and multiple weekend getaways in Ruidoso, New Mexico. The organizers will be raffling off two firearms as well. There will be a bake sale, curbside lunch and bar-b-que dinner by donation.
If you can’t make it to the fundraiser you can still donate to Tiny through Boots and Badges by clicking here.
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