Dare County Advanced EMT (AEMT) Bill Laricos was recognized at the August 6 Board of Commissioners meeting as the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Dare County EMT of the Year, as well as the North Carolina EMT of the Year.
Each year, VFW chapters select emergency medical technicians, law enforcement and firefighter personnel to receive VFW Public Servant Awards. Outer Banks VFW Post 10950 (Dare County) selected AEMT Bill Laricos as their EMT of the Year and his nomination was subsequently sent to the State level, where he was also selected as the North Carolina EMT of the Year.
“I am truly honored to be selected for this award,” said Laricos, “and I am very happy it brings a spotlight to our fire departments, EMS, and the Hatteras Island Rescue Squad.”
Prior to coming to Dare County, Laricos served over 20 years with the Howard County, Maryland Police Department and over 15 years with the Ellicott City, Maryland Volunteer Fire Department and Howard County, Maryland Department of Fire and Rescue Services.
Currently, Laricos is an employee with the Dare County EMS, as well as a volunteer with the Hatteras Island Rescue Squad and the Frisco Volunteer Fire Department – organizations he praises for their dedication to serving Hatteras Island.
“The Hatteras Island Rescue Squad is the only volunteer department that functions on a paramedic level,” he says. “What that means is that if the ambulance isn’t able to come, the Rescue Squad can 100% do what an ambulance can do.”
“The Rescue Squad handles so many different things – surf rescue, sound rescue, water rescue, rope rescue – if the Rescue Squad was not here, there would be a huge gap in services, because they do a number of things that no one else does.”
Laricos also praised the dedication of the Frisco Volunteer Fire Department, where he has been a member for roughly 17 years. “With the houses we have here, and factors like size, wind, and weather, firefighting is a very challenging in our area,” he says. “There’s also limited manpower available, simply because we are on an island with limited number of trained firefighters.”
“Hats off to the fire department for what they do, with what they have,” he says.
While Laricos credited and praised the organizations he works with, his colleagues put a spotlight on his work with the local community at the Board of Commissioners meeting where he received his reward.
“Bill is an outstanding emergency medical technician,” said Dare County EMS Chief Jennie Collins who spoke of Laricos’ vast experience in the public safety “trifecta” that includes law enforcement, fire and emergency medical services. “For decades he has been a dedicated public servant. He is a faithful employee of Dare EMS and he is a devoted member of Hatteras Island Rescue Squad and Frisco Volunteer Fire Department. Bill is extremely dependable, a mentor, a teacher, and is viewed by his peers as an example of calmness under pressure. Following his time on duty with Dare County EMS, Bill continues his dedicated service and utilizes his AEMT skills with two other local agencies.”
Representatives from Post 10950 in attendance at the meeting were Quartermaster Jim Norrell, Commander Richard Probst and Service Officer Fred Lamm. Presenting the award, Commander Probst read from the certificate, “Laricos’ outstanding career has demonstrated a record of extraordinary and courageous service to the community and the nation. He is truly a premier example of all EMTs and his honor reflects the proudest ideals of Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States.”
For more Information on the Hatteras Island Rescue Squad, visit https://www.facebook.com/HIRS35/.