All in the Family

3 Generations of Firefighters & EMTs Serve Carlin Community

By Dianna Troyer

Emergency Medical Services Captain Amanda Curry, right, has volunteered for 18 years. Her son, Bodie Callen, was recently named Carlin Volunteer Fire Department’s EMT of the Year. Photos courtesy Carlin Volunteer Fire Department

Most volunteer firefighters—available to respond to emergencies 24/7—stay about 5 years with a department. In Carlin, the Curry and Bingaman families have set longevity records.

3 generations have responded to countless calls together, having made a commitment to their community as members of the Carlin Volunteer Fire Department and Emergency Medical Services.

They say they volunteer to be a reassuring, familiar face for local residents during an emergency.

At a recent annual awards banquet, Fire Chief Linda Bingaman was honored for serving 40 years. Her grandson, Brian, joined the department last June after graduating from high school through a program at Great Basin College.

Assistant Fire Chief Roger Curry was recognized for 45 years of service. His daughter, Amanda Curry, captain of Emergency Medical Services, has volunteered for 18 years.

Amanda’s son, Bodie Callen—who joined the department 3 years ago—was named Carlin Volunteer Fire Department’s EMT of the Year for the number of calls he responds to and volunteering at community events, including the department’s annual Cadet Fire Camp.

The Curry Crew

Brian not only volunteers with the Carlin department, he also works for the Nevada Division of Forestry as a wildland firefighter 1.

On some calls, Roger drives the ambulance.

“I retired from being an EMT but still like to help out, so I drive,” says Roger, who has served as an assistant chief for more than 30 years.

He also applied his medical skills when he worked at Nevada Gold Mines, where he was an equipment operator for 39 years. He was a member of the company’s ambulance service and mine rescue team. Although he retired from the mines 8 years ago, Roger doesn’t plan to retire from the fire department.

“I’ve always liked the variety, whether fighting wildland or structure fires or doing ambulance runs,” he says. “We support our surrounding communities, too. Whatever I do, I enjoy helping the people of Carlin. I grew up here.”

Amanda joined the department as a firefighter in 2006 and worked 13 years for the Nevada Division of Forestry. To expand her skills for the Carlin department, she enrolled in a basic emergency medical technician class and later became an advanced EMT.

“After the classes, I was surprised at how much I enjoyed the EMS side,” she says. “Being born and raised here, I know everyone so it’s gratifying to help my community. I love being there during someone’s bad day, even if it’s as simple as helping a senior citizen who has fallen at home.”

Sometimes, she gets a call from a Life Alert or a local resident to help an elderly family member

“I’m happy to go no matter what time of day,” Amanda says. To deal with the emotional aftermath of fatal events, Amanda says, “We have a strong peer support program and debriefing to help us process what happened.”

She encouraged her son, Bodie, to enroll in the department’s cadet program, where he learned firefighting skills.

“I was hooked,” he says. After graduating in 2021 from Carlin High School, he joined the department. A year later, he became a basic EMT.

“On calls, I like being a voice of reason and calm for someone when they are going through chaos and nothing makes sense,” he says.

He applies his medical skills not only for the department but is also a full-time employee of Classic Air Medical, a private ambulance company serving northern Nevada.

A memorable call for him was responding to a student having a seizure during a sporting event.

“It was about 6 months after I became an EMT, and it was the first time everything clicked, and I took charge of a situation,” Bodie says. “I was surprised and excited to be awarded EMT of the Year. The chief says I was picked because I’ve come a long way as a provider.”

The Bingamans

Moving to the Carlin community decades ago, Thomas and Linda Bingaman turned to the volunteer fire department as a way to get to know people. Thomas had been assigned to Carlin as a railroad police officer.

“We didn’t have family in Carlin or even in Nevada, so we joined the department to make friends,” Linda says. “We soon found our informal extended family.”

It was a life-changing decision. Along with new friends, Linda found a career she never anticipated after becoming a firefighter and advanced EMT.

Linda Bingaman says she takes pride in knowing that the values of service and community have become a family tradition. Her grandson, Brian Bingaman, volunteers with the department.

Linda not only serves as Carlin’s chief but was also the chief of the Elko County Fire Protection District for 6 years. She also coordinated the EMS program at Great Basin College, where she taught EMT and AEMT classes. At the Fire Science Academy, she worked in multiple positions including instructor.

“Both our sons were members of the department, and 1 still works in the field as a flight nurse-paramedic for Air St. Luke’s in Boise,” she says. “I take pride in knowing that the values of service and community have become a family tradition. We have the opportunity to provide comfort to those on their worst day, with a familiar and caring presence, which is crucial in small communities.”

Her grandson, Brian, volunteers with the department and also works for the Nevada Division of Forestry as a wildland firefighter 1.

“It’s rewarding to learn about fighting fires,” he says. “I like the challenge and carrying on our family tradition.”

Linda, like Roger, has no plans to retire. “It’s become part of my life,” she says. “I’ll keep doing it as long as I’m able.”