Mississippi’s first statewide memorial service for fallen EMTs, paramedics and other EMS professionals is set for Thursday, May 25 at 10:00 am at the Holmes Community College Ridgeland campus, 412 West Ridgeland Avenue.
The event will recognize 132 emergency medical caregivers in the state who have died due to illness or injury suffered in the line of duty or in close association to duty since 1974.
Governor Tate Reeves will address attendees in the college’s workforce development center. Other speakers are David Hall, director of the Mississippi Department of Health Bureau of Emergency Medical Services, and Linda Ming of Brandon. Mrs. Ming lost her husband, Paramedic James Douglas “Doug” Ming, in 2021 due COVID-19 most likely contracted at work.
An all-volunteer group organized the service.
Sandra Hultz, an EMS instructor at the college, is one of the organizers. She said, “The EMTs, paramedics, emergency medical dispatchers and fire-rescue personnel who we will honor gave their all to help others in medical crisis. The law enforcement and firefighting communities have for decades conducted memorial services for the dedicated professionals they have lost in the line of duty. EMS, the third public safety community, has also lost colleagues but we have not had a memorial service in Mississippi specifically for our fallen comrades. On Thursday, we will recognize our state’s EMS heroes in a ceremony focused on their sacrifices.”
“There is a yearly national EMS memorial service near Washington, D.C., where Paramedic Ming and other fallen EMS caregivers from Mississippi have been memorialized. Our group felt that an annual state-level remembrance is also in order. Today we are taking a major step toward that goal. We chose this time of year because National EMS Week, always held in mid-May, is this week.”
Ceremonies will include: an honor guard will post the U.S. and Mississippi flags at half-mast; an event leader will read aloud the roll of Mississippi EMS workers lost in the line of duty in the past 49 years, and the Governor, Mr. Hall and Mrs. Ming will speak.
Numerous ground ambulance services and fire-rescue departments from across the state are expected to drive patient care vehicles to the service. Staff members with AirCare, the medical helicopter service at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, also plan to fly an aircraft to the event.
The Division of Emergency Medical Services at Holmes Community College is hosting the memorial.