Saluting the Legacy of Captain Richard Stubbs: A Retiring Hero

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Today our very own Captain Richard Stubbs is retiring. Even though we are happy for retirement, after 27 years of service with the Weslaco Fire Dept., he will be greatly missed!
He began his career at the age of 14 years old, in 1982 at the Twin Hills Fire Department a Fire Explorer. This program allowed teens to attend a fire academy, respond to emergencies, and eventually become firefighters. He also became a CPR instructor assisting the THUSD Director of Nurses teach CPR to employees.
Shortly after high school, he was hired by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (now called CAL FIRE) as a seasonal firefighter. He responded to all types of emergencies, including large brush fires around the state. In 1995, he moved to the RGV where he started as a volunteer at the Pharr Fire Department. After completing the fire academy, he was employed by Weslaco Fire Department in 1996. Stubbs moved to Mercedes and volunteered there as well until he settled in Weslaco.
During his time at WFD, he became a Paramedic, fire/EMS Instructor, Hazardous Materials Tech/Incident Commander, and a Master Firefighter. He is trained as an Emergency Manager and teaches emergency management courses to people all over the valley, including training city employees and residents of Weslaco. He was also the Logistics Section Chief and served as the Designated Infection Control Officer (DICO) for the city since 2020. As Captain, he is the EMS Coordinator for the Weslaco Fire Department.
Captain Stubbs was also deployed all over Texas in many capacities. He responded to Hurricane Ike in 2008 as part of a medical team in Angleton, Tx. He was deployed across Texas, New Mexico, and Oklahoma as part of the management team for the surge of unaccompanied minors from 2014 to 2019. During Hurricane Harvey in 2017, He served as an ambulance strike team leader. During Hurricane Laura, he was a part of the Medical Incident Support Team. In 2020, He was part of the management team for the initial COVID-19 patients that came to San Antonio Texas from the Diamond Princess Cruise Ship. He was also sent as a state asset to El Paso for 31 days to assist during their surge of COVID-19 in the same year. Over the years, he had many missions including planning and facilitating the evacuation of a nursing home in Newton, Tx.
One of his favorite things to do is to speak at conferences. He’s presented at the All-Hazards Conference in McAllen, the Texas Division of Emergency Management, the Medical Reserve Corps Conference, and the Texas EMS Educators Conference.
He also served Hidalgo and Cameron County as a Paramedic as a second job throughout his career.
Finally, He is the founder of RGV Youth Preparedness. This FREE week-long program engages teens in disaster preparedness and community resilience at Camp Thicket in Weslaco and is in its 6th year.
Through this program, many volunteers, and the American Red Cross have been successful in installing well over 1,000 smoke alarms for Weslaco family homes for FREE over the years.
In speaking to Captain Stubbs, he relays that He could not have done this work, especially being deployed so often over 15 years if it wasn’t for the love and support of his wife, Amy. He feels truly blessed to have her and their “yours, mine, and ours” family which consists of 12 children and 30 grandchildren.