EDGAR — In light the big network of individuals required to equip a community for emergencies, Edgar resident Garry Steele considers himself one cog in the greater machine of public service.
The longtime volunteer EMT, former educator and continuing emergency preparedness volunteer recently was awarded a community health service award by South Heartland District Health Department at the organization's annual award ceremony.
Steele began his career in education. A native of Chappell, he got his bachelor's degree in teaching from the University of Nebraska at Kearney. He moved to Tribland in 1970 to teach American history and geography at Sandy Creek High School.
He taught and worked toward his master's degree simultaneously for several years and, upon finishing what felt like an educational marathon in 1975, he had his degree in hand. However, as he looked toward the future, he felt he needed another extracurricular class to help him wind down from his master's push.
"I was looking for a way to wean myself off of the intensity of trying to work a job and get a master's degree at the same time. There was EMT training available, so I took the class," Steele said.
He has been a state certified Emergency Management Technician ever since, and the post has taken him on many calls in the Clay County area and into many educational arenas across the state.