On Scene Support was founded in 1996 by Arthur Hoops. He was an EMT in South Eddy County (Carlsbad) New Mexico before retiring to the Sacramento mountains and the small town of Ruidoso.
While in Carlsbad, Arthur found that firefighters and other first responders needed some form of hydration when on long emergency calls. He would have his wife go to the local store to buy cases of bottled water to fill that need. Upon moving to Ruidoso, he became a volunteer firefighter for the area, and saw the same need here. He set up a response network through his church, Gateway Christian, to handle the need. From that time, until 2008, the program called Gateway Disaster Relief Team in Ruidoso was funded through private church donations.
In 2008, the name changed to Sierra Disaster Relief Team, and was no longer sponsored through the church. Donations and volunteers were sought for continuing the efforts.
In 2010, for simplicity, and to encompass a larger scope, the name On Scene Support was coined. Arthur Hoops continued to provide hydration and nourishment to the local area fire departments who keep our county safe, and their motto "a fireman's friend" has since expanded to include all those involved in major incidents.
During the Little Bear Fire of 2012, it became apparent that the scope of On Scene Support's vision was too limited. The area had not seen a major catastrophe of this magnitude since 1947 and the famed Capitan Gap fire where Smokey Bear was rescued. The magnitude of this event eventually brought in Federal resources.
On Scene Support assisted with delivering ongoing supplies: blankets, dry and clean socks, personal hygiene kits and provisions, which continued to be gathered for the first responders and the National Guard, who base-camped in our region for several weeks.
Mike Myers, a former volunteer with Ruidoso's Fire Department Auxiliary, met Arthur Hoops in 2013. They teemed their ideas, and they worked together to provide the on scene support so needed in our region. Mike, a generous, humble helper, took over On Scene Support officially in 2017 after Arthur's 21 selfless years.
On Scene Support's current most need is to fund the conversion of a recommissioned county ambulance for the sole purpose of creating the R&R mobile station. "We think we need about $30,000 to refurbish the unit for the needs of the first responders," Lynn Myers, behind the scenes assistant for her husband Mike stated in a recent interview. "We also need more volunteers!"
The future goals for On Scene Support is to become state-wide, with the local Lincoln County On Scene Support as a program prototype. "We've already had interest from Otero and Chaves counties," remarked Lynn, "research shows this program is best suited for the rural areas of our state, and we have a lot of them."
Our first goal was $2,500 for 2018 to cover initial costs for acquiring the ambulance. It was funded immediately through private donations. The annual expenses for replenishing supplies is growing. In 2017 OSS spent over $5,000. In 2018, the costs have already exceeded $8,000, due in part to the increased incidences through out Lincoln County.
What OSS provides is not covered in the county fiscal budget. This is why we need you! Please help us, help them, so they can do their best when it comes to helping YOU.