Creek County paramedic nominated for service award
BY SUSAN HYLTON World Staff Writer
Saturday, March 09, 2013
3/09/13 at 8:09 AM
SAPULPA - Although he dropped out of school in the eighth grade, Matthew Llewellyn has more than made up for it in a career devoted to saving lives.
Llewellyn, 30, a paramedic with Creek County Ambulance, was nominated for the Star of Life Award, which will be presented by the American Ambulance Association in a ceremony in Washington, D.C., later this month. It is the highest honor that an emergency medical service worker can receive.
During Llewellyn's middle school years, he didn't find much encouragement he would ever have a productive life. "I was a typical out-of-control teen. I made stupid decisions, poor decisions," he said.
Llewellyn said that educators gave up on him, telling him he was a waste of time. His confidence plummeted.
"I didn't think I was smart enough or good enough to achieve anything, so I never set a bar to achieve anything," he said.
But then an accident happened when he went along with a friend to volunteer as a dispatcher. Whenever he could, he would ride along with volunteer firefighters on fire calls.
"I just absolutely loved it," he said. "I thought, 'What can I do to be around this?' "
Seeing his hard work and interest, the firefighters, medics and deputies he met encouraged him to get his GED diploma.
Llewellyn received his GED diploma and enrolled in a technology school.
He was working a multitude of odd jobs including delivering pizzas and cooking at fast-food restaurants to save as much money as he could.
He received entry-level EMT certification and started working in 2002. He continued school until he became a nationally licensed paramedic and paramedic-level EMS instructor in 2010.
He also received certification in psychological first aid and field traumatology, serving as a coach to his peers during and after stressful events.
Taylor Hargrove, education coordinator and paramedic for Creek County Ambulance, said Llewellyn is enthusiastic and committed to his work and that he has been involved in the community, especially during the wildfires that swept through the area in August, leaving hundreds of people homeless.
"It killed me inside watching that. Just watching dozens after dozens of people trying to get their possessions out while being rushed from their property and watching entire families holding each other as their lives were being destroyed," Llewellyn said.
Llewellyn said he probably started 40 IVs on dehydrated firefighters. He also took firefighters who didn't know the area to some of the secluded, tiny backroads that were hard to find.
Llewellyn also led a fundraising effort to help provide and deliver necessities for the fire victims. "It was awesome to watch the community pull together," he said.
Original Print Headline: Creek County paramedic to be honored for service
Susan Hylton 918-581-8381
Creek County Ambulance paramedic Matthew Llewellyn was nominated for the Star of Life Award for his work during the 2012 wildfires. Courtesy