I have been pretty busy lately. Today is the last day of summer and, for all practical purposes, the fall semester starts tomorrow. Syllabi are due. Annual reports are due. I won’t have any more time to do research, just teach.

But then I got a text message: “Alvis Reaves was found dead this morning at his home in Apex.”

I paused.

Alvis was one of the good ones. He worked at RDU Airport doing groundskeeping for like decades.

And I got to know him at Cary Area EMS where he volunteered for, well, like decades.

Immediately, the others in the group started responding:

  • I’ll never forget his two rules…1. My partner and I go home in the morning and 2.  There ain’t no damn rules!
  • RIP… there really will never be another Alvis. 
  • He was an amazing friend would do anything for you. 
  • He was a great person and he will be missed.

I took a pause.

Alvis was a great person. When I wrote a press release about another Cary EMS person, Jessica Matthews, winning Squadsperson of the Year, in 2001, Alvis said, “She is giving up her personal time, not only serving duty but doing other things as well.”

The same was true for him.

I remember one time when Alvis and I, alone, ran a BLS call by ourselves. No one knew his way around the ambulance like Alvis, No one knew his way around town and to the hospital like Alvis. No one wanted to touch a patient any less than Alvis.

And like any other call, we didn’t know what to expect. But all went well. Alvis got the backboard. I did patient care. We went home. Safe.

Alvis was a good-ol’-boy, one of the best, one of the reasons that I enjoyed with Cary Area EMS for more than a decade. Great people.

RIP, Alvis. Thinking of you.