NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — A North Little Rock firefighter paramedic who was loved by many died unexpectedly just over a year ago. Now, Eli Station’s fellow firefighters are remembering him by helping others achieve the same goals.
"You’d never find another person like him, most infectious laugh, personality, most caring selfless person ever," said Allie Station, Eli’s wife.
Ask anyone who knew him and they all say the same thing.
"He had an infectious laugh first and foremost that you would recognize across the room," said Firefighter Charlie Tull, NLRFD.
Eli served as a firefighter with the North Little Rock Fire Department for about four years.
"Had a huge heart. He loved everybody he met. I don’t know anybody that didn't like Eli," said Lt. Paramedic Sean Walker, NLRFD.
His passion went even deeper when he became a paramedic. It had been nearly a year since he completed the year and a half long training when on Feb. 4, 2018, at 26 years old, he died unexpectedly from heart complications.
“We felt like something more could be done to honor his memory," Tull said.
Tull created the Eli Staton Memorial Scholarship.
“This is the best tribute I could think of, to help other people become what he was," Tull said.
The scholarship will send one career or volunteer Firefighter/EMT in Arkansas to paramedic school, covering the nearly $5,000 worth of tuition and fees for the three-semester training hosted by the North Little Rock Fire Department.
“This whole idea is just amazing and he would be laughing that infectious laugh, ‘This is all about me?’ Yes, this is all about you," Staton said.
The scholarship is funded through a golf tournament that will be put on every summer. The first one, last year, had about 200 participants.
“We’re going to look for a reflection of what we may have saw in Eli," Tull said.
So every few years when the department hosts paramedic school, someone will better their training in memory of someone who always put others first.
“Hopefully we can give this scholarship to someone who can follow in his footsteps," Staton said.
Applications are being accepted now for the Eli Staton Memorial Scholarship for the paramedic training that starts in June. Applicants will need to submit a one-page essay explaining why they should receive the scholarship. An in-person interview will follow.
You can apply for the scholarship here.