The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Dream come true

 

October 14, 2018

David Grieder

Clovis Fire Chief Mike Nolen and Kellye Long visit with guests at Station 1 during a gathering Wednesday evening to recognize her as an "honorary firefighter."

CLOVIS — Kellye Long has loved all things firefighting since she was 5 years old. On Wednesday, at 37, she was presented with a badge, custom helmet, a cake and a celebration at Clovis' "Station 1" as an honorary firefighter.

"This is like a dream come true for her," said Ermy Beevers, Community Team Leader for ENMRSH (Eastern New Mexico Rehabilitation Services for the Handicapped), serving developmentally disabled adults and children in the region.

At the swearing-in ceremony were some of Long's friends from the Special Olympics and ENMRSH, as well as family and over a dozen local firefighters.

"All Kellye wants to be is a firefighter," said Clovis Fire Chief Mike Nolen. "So we interviewed Kellye and found out her love for the service, which is everything here."

Her mother, Denise, said Kellye has been collecting magazines, figurines, posters and other firefighter-related items since her childhood in California. They moved to Clovis about eight years ago, and her room here is painted red and decorated along the same theme.

CFD driver/operator Charles Nunez said he first met Long a couple of years ago through his wife, who worked at ENMRSH, but in recent months has gotten to know her better. He said she lights up when she sees him in uniform or recognizes him at the gym. He pinned the honorary badge on her shirt Wednesday evening.

Sporting her new customized helmet, she inspected the inside of a fire engine and toured the station, learning the responsibilities as an honorary team member. Later, Nolen expected she would "go for a spin with the fellas" on a rig around town. And who wouldn't light up at that opportunity?

"Her job now is to be available should I ever call needing her help," Nolen added.

Long is the second individual named an honorary firefighter with CFD, and Nolen said others might also join if they can demonstrate a sustained interest.

Kellye Long certainly has.

 
 

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