Belen Fire Chief Wayne Gallegos was bitten last week by what is believed to have been a brown recluse spider, and he became so ill that we almost lost him. That would have been a tragedy for Valencia County.
Few men in the county are so well liked or so useful to their community. Few men give so much of themselves.
Wayne Gallegos surely is one of the most active volunteers there is. Any time an event is scheduled, from a car show at Belen High School to Music Fest, he’s there doing his disc jockey thing to add to the festivities. He’s an emcee whose energy never lags.
As a firefighter, both professionally and as a volunteer, Gallegos has always been there when people needed a helping hand.
He’s the driving force behind the county’s emergency preparedness exercises, bringing together everyone from fire chiefs to railroad personnel to police to ham radio operators. They’ve set up mock disasters and practiced how to respond to them. It made everyone feel a little bit safer.
Wayne is a good dad with a daughter who has herself joined the junior fire department and even nominated him as one of our Unsung Heroes in the News-Bulletin Locals edition last year.
We’re glad to hear that Wayne is stronger than any old brown recluse — and we can hardly wait to hear that he’s back on his feet and back on the job.