DOBSON — A longtime paramedic was honored last week for his service to the county.
William “Skip” Komraus served Surry County EMS for more than 16 years, starting in March 2001, before retiring in the fall.
Komraus said his service goes back much further than that as he has 42 years in, dating back well before joining Surry County.
Komraus brought years of experience from outside the state to Surry County, said John Shelton, director of emergency services. He worked for EMS units in Georgia and Virginia earlier in his career.
“Skip contributed a great deal to the program in the time he was here,” said Shelton.
At last week’s county commissioners meeting, Commissioner Larry Phillips read a resolution thanking Komraus for his service and wishing him the best in his retirement.
In that resolution, Phillips said that the honoree served Surry as an EMT-paramedic, AirCare paramedic, assistant shift supervisor and field training officer over the years. And for the last few months of his service, Komraus worked as a shift supervisor.
“Mr. Komraus has made significant contributions to Surry County Emergency Medical Services and to the County of Surry,” said Phillips, “achieving numerous certifications, demonstrating exemplary skill levels and contributing to his department and to his fellow employees.”
Among his accomplishments are earning high marks in the state’s annual paramedic competitions. He and Danny Lineberry were regional winners as a pair in two different years. In 2016, he was honored by the county board for achieving 10 lives saved in the course of duty.
“Mr. Komraus in his supervisory role has led by example, bringing a high level of integrity and professionalism,” Phillips said. He “has earned the admiration and respect of his friends, colleagues and employees he has supervised.”
Komraus was a great flight medic and an excellent supervisor and mentor, said Shelton. “I think he hated to leave, but he felt it was time to spend more personal time with his family.”
He was a true professional, earning respect from employees both young and old, according to the EMS director. He was good for the continuing education programs offered through the community college.
There have been several really talented people who have retired in the past few years, noted Shelton. He said it has been quite an honor to have such quality people working in the department. And their efforts at training younger workers will allow the EMS to remain strong.
Surry County has won more state competitions than any county in the state, he said. That’s because of committed people who yearned to serve like Komraus. Shelton said he’s been really blessed with the people who have served here.
Komraus told the commissioners that when he was training young employees, he had a simple philosophy: “Get out there, do your best and show compassion, and that’s what I stand for.”
Reach Jeff at 415-4692.