CHARLOTTE – For 29 years Dee Hawkins Garland has served the Charlotte County community.
She was a paramedic for 10 years until an injury, took her off the road so she found another way to serve people.
“I just started doing public relations and public education cause I really like working with the people and then it just kind of morphed into public information officer and it just grew and I was fortunate enough to create this division,” said Hawkins- Garland.
From six ambulances to 18, Hawkins -Garland has seen immense change and growth within the county. Tuesday, the Charlotte county public safety staff celebrated her accomplishments and commitment to serving others.
‘It’s been the heart of the department it’s made it to where us coming to work is not just a job it’s a family and she’s number one in the heart of our family,” said , Fire Chief, Bill Van Helden.
Van Helden says when they receive a call, pushing them to their limits, they always turned to her.
“We have a little saying who do we call when we don’t know who to call anymore to help us and that’s Dee Hawkins that’s who owe call and she’s always been the voice of reason in the middle of a storm or disaster,” said Hawkins.
She says it was time to leave but says its bittersweet
“I will miss the people in this agency they really care about the people who live in this community,” said Hawkins- Garland.
She says she is looking forward to spending more times with her grandchildren , her husband and three daughters.
Congratulations on your retirement and from all of us here at SNN, thank you for all you have done.