Rick Griffin, of Blackwell, said it was an act of God that led him to the Rolling Plains Bobwhite Brigade.
Griffin who works for the San Angelo Fire Department recalls one afternoon, a series of major lighting storms were passing through the city. A lighting strike caused a fire at a storage building in the western part of town.
It turned out that the building belonged to Dr. Dale Rollins, the major organizer of the Rolling Plains Bobwhite Brigade. After the fire and during the cleanup, Rollins and Griffin began to visit. Rollins discovered that Griffin was also a paramedic.
Needing a paramedic on staff for the wildlife camp, he invited Griffin to attend the camp being held at the Krooked River Lodge that year. For the past 11 years, Griffin has been a big part of the nationally known Bobwhite Brigade.
“With my first visit, I was amazed what impact this program had on the kids, and I knew that I wanted to be a part, as well as my kids,” said Griffin.
He also remembers that first year, he followed the kids step-by-step to learn the entire camp program.
His son, Darren, then attended the South Texas Brigade, and daughter Marissa attended the Bass Brigade the following year. Later, Marissa attended the Rolling Plains Bobwhite Brigade as a student worker.
Each year, Griffin’s vacation is taken during the annual camp in June. Serving in the official role as camp medic, Griffin recalls very little medical activity.
“We watch them very closely and take steps to ensure their safety,” he said. “Over the past years, I have only treated some minor insect bites and some heat stress.”
When not in his medical capacity, Griffin also serves on the cooking team for the camp.
The Griffin family plans to continue to be a part of this youth wildlife leadership program for years to come.
Marissa who is now an RN at the Trauma Center of Hendrick Medical Center in Abilene, returns each year for the final night of camp, to help the cadets complete their assigned projects.
With retirement in the future, the elder Griffin plans to retain his EMT certification for a few years, then pass the position as the camps’ medical resource to his son, who is working on his EMT certification.
“Then, I will only serve on the cooking team, I want to continue to be a part of the program,” he said.
It is fitting for this family to serve. Three generations of Griffins have served as firefighters both in Abilene and San Angelo. Griffin’s wife Lori also is dedicated to youth, recently retiring as the Family Consumer Science instructor in the Blackwell Schools.
It is people such as the Griffin family who give of their time and talents, who have made the Texas Brigade Program a success for the past 24 years.
The Rolling Plains Bobwhite Brigade will be 25 years old next summer. Organizers are always looking for adult volunteers. If interested contact the Texas Brigades office at 210-556-1391.