TYLER (KYTX) - A huge honor awarded to a special man today at the Tyler Firefighter Combat Challenge Saturday.
Tony Myers was the Vice President of ETMC EMS, and has sponsored the Tyler Firefighter's Combat Team since it was established.
Myers passed away this year, and Saturday, his wife was presented with awards honoring her husband.
Applause filled the area, in memory of a man who touched the lives of so many.
"My husband worked for ETMC EMS for almost 20 years," said Linda Myers, "and although EMS was his passion, his first love was the fire department so he's always had a tender spot in his heart."
Tony Myers was the Vice President of ETMC EMS, and Chief of Operations.
He retired in July of 2011, and passed away March 1, 2012.
"So this morning, we're going to name the 2012 Firefighter Combat Challenge in memory of Tony Myers," said event organizer and Tyler Firefighter Brent Hail.
As this year's combat challenge was named in Tony's honor, his wife, Linda, accepted gifts from the community.
"I am honored and touched beyond words. It's quite an honor and I'm very proud of him," Linda said.
The award does not just mean the world to Tony's family, and EMS members, but firefighters as well.
"He was kind of the backbone for EMS for a long time and he loved the fire service and we loved him. And it's just sad losing somebody like that," Hail said during the ceremony.
Tony Myers has sponsored the Tyler Firefighter Combat team since it formed 12 years ago, and has also sponsored Tyler's Combat Challenge event for all 7 years.
"He's one of those guys who has stuck with you from the very beginning," Hail says.
Linda says her husband's generosity came from his passion.
"His first career was in the fire department. It's his first love and it showed," she said.
It was that love that has earned Myers so much respect.
"For all the dedication and care he poured into this for us," Hail said.
For that dedication, his memory will live on. Tyler remains one of the largest firefighter combat challenges in the country. The city is also preparing to host the state level competition in the next few years.