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Curnutt devoted 48-years to providing and overseeing ambulance service in Jefferson County

PMH PHOTO: PAT KRUIS - John curnutt holds his award from the Special Districts Associaiton of Oregon

Special Districts Association of Oregon awarded Madras local John Curnutt with an award on Nov. 9 in recognition of his 35 years of service to Jefferson County.

Curnutt served on the board of the Jefferson County EMS District for 35 years, but his passion for serving the community started much earlier.

Curnutt began his medical service in high school, where he was a part of the Medical Cadet Corps.

"That sparked my interest," said Curnutt, "when the opportunity came to be affiliated with what was then the Madras Fire Department which ran the ambulance, I signed up."

Starting as an EMT in 1973 and later an EMT-2, IV Tech, Curnutt has over 48 years of service to Jefferson County. He says his biggest reward for those 48 years is the satisfaction of serving his community.

"I'm proud of how professional the organization has become. I'm also proud of the fact that it stood on its own for so many years," said Curnutt

Curnutt credits the past and ongoing success of the Jefferson County EMS in part to Mike Lepin, the current chief.

Lepin presented the award to Curnutt at the Jefferson County Rotary Club Nov. 9 luncheon. Lepin had this to say about Curnutt's service.

"During his service with the Madras Volunteer Ambulance, he also trained others to become EMTs. Some of those he taught have also taught and mentored others to become EMTs, thus creating a legacy of lifesavers," said Lepin.

"After the separation of the Fire Department and Ambulance Department in the early 1980s, John was instrumental in creating the Jefferson County EMS District in 1986."

The award comes from the Special Districts Association of Oregon, a group of special districts across the state ranging from fire and EMS to libraries and airports. The award reads "In recognition of your 35-year commitment to serving your community as a board member for the Jefferson County EMS District. SDAO and your community greatly appreciate your service."

Curnutt stepped down from the board last July when he was not re-elected in May, after serving a total of 48 years in the district.

While serving the community as a dedicated leader in the EMS field, Curnutt's career was as a teacher at Madras High School. He is also an accomplished musician and singer.


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