Veteran firefighter steps up to help badly injured local paramedic

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WACO, Texas (KWTX) A veteran Waco firefighter paralyzed in May 2017 after falling from a billboard while working off-duty in McGregor says he plans to pay it forward to a local paramedic who lost his leg after he was struck at a crash scene by a car whose driver is accused of being drunk.

Rory Barros. (Photo by John Carroll/file)

Garth Goodwin is donating all of the proceeds from a golf tournament in his name to the fellow first responder, Rory Barros.

“After my accident a little over a year ago we decided to set up and create a foundation,” Goodwin said.

“We had a benefit golf tournament for myself and we wanted to continue that and pick a beneficiary each year and award the benefits to someone else in the area, preferably a first responder.”

Goodwin, a 17-year-veteran of the fire department was paralyzed from the chest down in May 2017.

He was just a few months into recovery when he remembers hearing about another first responder injured on the job.

“I don't personally know Rory that well,” Goodwin said.

“I've worked several calls on scene with Rory. I remember Rory but when we heard of this accident it wasn't too long after mine.”

The community outpouring of support for Goodwin has included the construction of a wheelchair accessible home and multiple fundraisers.

This year, Goodwin wanted to pay it forward by holding the golf tournament in his name used to raise funds for him in order to donate proceeds to Barros as Wes Waller and Mike Betke of UBI Products and Construction Services, who led the effort to build Garth’s home have offered to help Barros renovate his home as well.

“I relate it back to the support I got and it meant to me more than the funds raised. Just knowing that that support is there and for Rory to feel that and experience that I think it's more of an uplifting gesture than any amount of money you'll get from a benefit.”

The Second annual Garth “Outlaw” Goodwin golf tournament will be held Saturday, Sept. 29 at Cottonwood Creek.

“We're going to do it big, as big as we did for mine and try to raise as much money as we can to try and help pay for Rory to remodel his home,” he said.

“It just seemed like this was the thing to do.”

Barros was among the first responders dispatched at around 2:40 a.m. Aug. 19, 2017 to the scene of an accident in the Loop 340 median in Waco.

East Texas Medical Center paramedics were performing first aid on a person injured in that crash when the vehicle police say Alec Nava, 28, was driving struck Barros, knocking him 20 feet into the air and dragged him across the pavement.

Nava pleaded guilty to intoxication assault on an emergency worker in connection with the accident and was sentenced in July to 20 years in prison.