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Ormond Beach Observer Friday, Apr. 9, 2021 1 month ago

Ormond resident thanks paramedics for saving her life on 'burniversary'

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by: Jarleene Almenas Associate Editor

On April 4, an Ormond Beach woman got a chance to meet some of her heroes.

Last year, Amber Wilcox suffered a tragic accident when a glass of hot caramel exploded on her right hand and legs. She burned over 20% of her body, according to an email, and thanks to Volusia County firefighters and and paramedics who responded swiftly, she was transported to Orlando Regional Medical Center. 

A few weeks ago, Wilcox contacted Fire Station 13 to see if she could reconnect with the firefighters paramedics who helped her that night. On her "burniversary," she was able to thank Volusia County paramedic Matt McGee, EMT Carina Simonsen, Lt. Jeff Mullinax and firefighter Chris McClure. 

"During the hour-long transport to Orlando, Paramedic McGee worked in a near 90 degree ambulance (burn patients are at risk for hypothermia) and did his best to reassure the patient and to manage the patient’s excruciating pain from the serious burns," reads a Facebook post by Volusia County EMS.

Wilcox thanks the team for saving her life.

"To say I'm humbly grateful for this crew would be an understatement — and I wouldn't be here today without the work they put in every day to keeping their communities safe," she said in the email. "Thank you all for all that you do— and all that you did that evening to make things feel less scary, but to also keep me healthy."

1,000 pounds of pet supplies

J. Smith, Gabriel DaVila, Halifax Humane Society Adoption Manager Sharon Harlow, Leo Club President Brianna Blackwood, Halifax Humane Society Development Manager Michelle Heb and Andrew Knight. Courtesy photo

The Leo Club of Seabreeze High School, along with local business partner Mollo Bella in Ormond Beach, recently collected and donated over 1,000 pounds of pet supplies to to the Halifax Humane Society. 

The donation, made on March 24, included 17 pounds of peanut butter.

Joining the Brightway family

A new insurance agency is opening in Ormond Beach on Monday, April 12.

Brightway, The Lester Agency, located at 570 Memorial Circle, suite 225, will be run by Brandon Lester, a Volusia resident for the past 15 years, according to a press release. Lester has worked in franchise sales and regional management for seven years before joining Brightway. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in hotel and restaurant management from the University of Phoenix in Orlando.

Brian Lester is opening a new insurance agency in Ormond Beach. Courtesy photo

“I joined the Brightway family because I want to be able to help every client," said Lester in a press release. "I dislike the idea of turning away someone because I have limited access to insurance carriers, so Brightway was the obvious choice when it came time to open my own agency."

The agency offers home, condo, renters, flood, personal articles, auto, RV, motorcycle, boat and umbrella insurance policies. It will be open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, and weekends by appointment.

“We’re happy to welcome Brandon to the Brightway family,” said Brightway President and CEO Michael Miller in the press release. “Brightway provides Agency Owners like him with holistic business support so they can focus on providing customers with local, expert counsel and more choice of insurance brands than anyone else.”

Elks give back

The Ormond Beach Elks Lodge No. 2193, along with Florida State Elks Association President Rudy Masi and First Lady Dolly Masi, presented the Jewish Federation of Volusia/Flagler Counties with a $2,000 donation on Sunday, March 28.

Dolly Masi, Randy McDonald; Maria DeArmon, Erika Barger, Rudy Masi, Gloria Max, Ray Max, and John Harris. Courtesy photo

The funds came from an Elks National Foundation Spotlight grant and is mean to assist the nonprofit with the COVID-19 relief it provides through the Jerry Doliner Food Bank. 

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