For the 2017 VFW Public Service Awards selected in VFW Post 11999's Mountain Community Area, we have three people that have an outstanding record for their service to and in support of all of us in Cloudcroft and the surrounding Otero County mountain area. Our choice for Law Enforcement Public Servant of the Year is New Mexico Department of Public Safety Officer Wilfredo Lavoe. Firefighter Public Servant of the Year is Mr. James Owen, and EMS Public Servant of the Year is Ms. Marina Ellison.
Officer Lavoe is assigned to the NMSP Commercial Vehicle Enforcement unit of District 8 where he has served since joining the NMSP in 2014. He has performed an outstanding job of keeping New Mexico roads and highways safe by ensuring commercial drivers and their equipment are operating in a safe manner. His superiors recognize his dedication to excellence when serving the public and displaying honor and pride while serving as an NMSP officer. We are fortunate to have Officer Lavoe serving our community and we thank him for his service. VFW Post 11999 will donate $100 to Toys for Tots in Officer Lavoe's name.
Mr. James Owen has been a resident of Otero County since 2002 and joined the Mayhill Volunteer Fire Department shortly after. He has served in a variety of positions both as a long time Captain and as Chief of the Department. He is fully qualified for several positions and is extremely dedicated to our community. He is recognized as a key player in making the Mayhill VFD the outstanding department that it is. Mr Owen is the finest example of what a firefighter should be and we consider ourselves fortunate to have him serving our community.
Ms. Marina Ellison became an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) in the fall of 2012 and has served the Mayhill Volunteer Fire Department faithfully and with distinction since. She is also qualified in multiple firefighter areas. As an EMT-B she answers the calls to a majority of the EMS calls and is recognized for her enthusiasm, integrity, compassion and high energy level. She has been recognized within the fire Departments of New Mexico as the 2017 EMT of the year.