Pictured, left to right: Tommy Maynard, District Deputy Grand Exalted Ruler Billy Claybough, Tammy Neely Maynard, Gregory Maynard, Dr. Grayson Maynard and Chattanooga Elks Lodge Exalter Ruler David Thompson, Sr.
In recognition of National EMS Week, the Board and Officers of Chattanooga Elks Lodge #91 presented the National Grand Elks Lodge Emergency Services Medal of Valor posthumously to Gregory D. Neely, flight paramedic with LifeForce, Erlanger Medical Center.
During the presentation at the Chattanooga Elks Lodge, Mr. Neely’s family was honored and presented the Medal of Valor by District Deputy Grand Exalted Ruler Billy Claybough, representing the Grand Lodge.
Over 50 former employees of the Hamilton County Emergency Medical Service, Chattanooga and Hamilton County Fire Departments were also recognized at the luncheon.
Neely died during his last call on Oct. 3, 1990. He gave the ultimate sacrifice – his life – when he fell to his death during a hazardous mountain rescue attempt. Erlanger Medical Center’s LifeForce helicopter answered a call to assist a man who had fallen from a cliff. As Mr. Neely was rappelling up the side of the cliff his safety line broke, allowing him to fall 125 feet to his death. Mr. Neely was 26 years old. The love for his job and providing care set him apart from other paramedics in the field.
Exalter Ruler/President of the Chattanooga Elks Lodge David Thompson, Sr. said, “This is the first Medal of Valor that our Lodge has presented. As a former HCEMS employee and member of our Elks Lodge, I am extremely proud that our Lodge supports and honors those who give of themselves to answer emergency calls and care for the individuals and families in our community. It is with great honor that we acknowledge the ultimate sacrifice given by flight paramedic Greg Neely and present his family with the National Grand Elks Lodge Medal of Valor.”