Benefit supper and entertainment Sept. 15 for Polk paramedic

Published 12:13 pm Monday, August 27, 2012

Polk County emergency service agencies will sponsor a benefit supper and evening of entertainment on Saturday, Sept. 15 from 5-9 p.m. at the Columbus Fire Department. Entertainment will be provided in Veterans Park in Columbus. All proceeds will be given to Polk County Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Paramedic Tommie Ruff to assist him with medical and living expenses.
Organizers are also holding a raffle, with the first prize being a gift certificate to the Foothills Gun Gallery. An additional prize of the services of a professional square dance caller is also available. A total of 500 tickets will be sold.
Tickets for the meal and the raffle will be available as soon as they are received from the printers and can be purchased through any emergency service agency in Polk County.
T-shirts urging people to take the steps necessary to eradicate stoke are also on sale for sizes small through XXL. Those shirts are on sale at the Columbus Fire Department.
Several weeks ago, just prior to beginning his regularly scheduled 12-hour shift as a paramedic with Polk County EMS, Ruff checked himself into the emergency department at Saint Luke’s Hospital. Based on tests and a complete examination, the emergency room physician concluded Ruff had suffered a stroke and ordered him to be transferred to Memorial Mission Hospital. At Mission Memorial, additional tests were performed.
Ruff was eventually released to return home, but he continued to have episodes of serious hypertension, which resulted in trips to his personal physician on several occasions. After several additional tests, it was determined that Ruff had suffered two strokes that resulted in his losing some use of his left side, problems with his speech and also difficulties with his left eye. Ruff is now undergoing a course of occupational and physical therapy to address all of these issues.
Ruff has spent a significant portion of his adult life serving the people of Polk and Henderson counties. He has served Polk County Emergency Medical Services as a paramedic for 22 years and is currently designated as the lead paramedic for his crew.
In addition, Ruff has also been a long time member of the Edneyville Fire and Rescue Department where he currently holds the rank of captain. He is also a crew leader for the North Carolina Forest Service in Henderson County. His skills as a wild land firefighter have been put to extensive use in Henderson and Polk counties.
Organizers also encourage anyone who would like to make a monetary contribution to do so. Checks may be made payable to the Town Of Columbus Fire Department and marked for the Ruff Fund. For more information, contact paramedic Kerry Hoosier (828-894-3067) or Assistant Chief G.M. Tennant of the Town of Columbus Fire Department 828-894-3667.
– article submitted by the Town of Columbus Fire Department

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