Cypress Creek EMS Paramedics Valerie Rosalessorto and Rico Rivera along with District Supervisor Kevin Traynor hosted a very special visitor on an ambulance ride along, recently.
MaryGrace Montagna is the granddaughter of legendary Cypress Creek Paramedic Bill Carey and she’s trying to figure out whether she wants to follow in his footsteps or pursue another type of medical career.
William A. “Bill” Carey was one of the early volunteer medics at Cypress Creek EMS. He served CCEMS for more than 30 years, both as a paramedic and a member of the Board of Directors. He is also one of a few CCEMS pioneers to have a classroom named after him in the Charles R. Hooks Education Center.
Another early volunteer, Ruben Gonzales Jr., worked with Carey. Gonzales, who is now a Board Member and President-Elect, says, “Legendary only begins to define a man of Bill’s stature. He was a successful entrepreneur, a true friend, wonderful husband and family man. His dedication to family and community were unparalleled. His devotion to CCEMS was unequaled. I am proud to have had him as a mentor and friend.”
Bill Carey passed away on July 1, 2012, but his love of medicine lives on through his daughter, Diane, and his Granddaughter, MaryGrace. She is currently attending Lone Star College and will start at Texas A&M in spring 2016. She is now figuring out what type of career she wants to pursue. MaryGrace knows it will be something in medicine. But will it be Physical Therapy, some other medical discipline, or will she become a paramedic like her grandfather?
MaryGrace says, “I’ve got the Carey DNA. I mirror my grandfather very much, even down to the muscles that I have. They are just like his and I have the stature (she’s 5’11”). I’m built just like him. I talk, I walk just like him. So, yes, I do think it’s in the blood.”
Speaking of blood, she says her dad passes out at the sight of it and her sister, “doesn’t like to get around that type of stuff.”
But, it’s different for MaryGrace and her mother. She says, “My mom wanted to go to college to be a teacher, but she went on a call with my grandfather and they were at the scene and she said I have to be a nurse and so she went to school to become a nurse.”
Later on her mom, Diane Carey Montagna, would get involved in teaching. She is now the clinical coordinator for the surgical technology program at Lone Star College in Tomball.
MaryGrace says her grandfather absolutely loved being a Paramedic. She recalls that, “There was nothing greater to see his face after a call when he said, yeah, we saved that one. Just seeing how much he loved it and how much he cared about saving lives, it’s just inspirational.”
At one time Bill Carey was the oldest living licensed paramedic in the state of Texas, but as a grandfather MaryGrace remembers that, “He was the best man. I could just go to him for anything and he would be able to do it. I can’t think of a word to describe him, because he was indescribable. That’s how awesome he was.”
If MaryGrace decides she wants to become a Paramedic after graduating from Texas A&M, she says she will definitely return to Cypress Creek EMS to do her training.