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Anniversary of hero's death in Paintsville

By: Jerrika Insco Email
By: Jerrika Insco Email

A Paintsville paramedic was only trying to do her job when her life was tragically taken four years ago.

A coal truck slid on ice hitting her and a pregnant woman that she was trying to help.

Both women and the unborn child were killed.

Today is the fourth anniversary of this hero's death although friends and family say it feels like it just happened yesterday.

She was 33-years-old and doing what she loved when her life was taken.

"It was like somebody just reached in and took a part of you that you weren't ready to let go of yet," said Bobbi Collins, a friend of paramedic killed.

The fallen hero, Christa Burchett, was a paramedic and worked at the Paintsville Fire Department as the assistant chief and EMS director.

"She loved helping people, and it wasn't just ems or fire stuff. It was for anything. You could call on Christa for anything at any time and she'd be there," said Tonya Dingess, a friend of Christa.

On January 22, 2008 she answered a call not knowing it would be her last.

It happened here on Highway 460 where Christa Burchett was on an EMS call trying to save someone's life.

Now this day will never be the same for her friends and family.

"It was just a terrible day. I mean I can still remember it as if it was yesterday. I lost a good friend. The fire department and EMS lost a good paramedic," said Gary Melvin, who worked with Christa.

"It'll never be the same. I'll always remember that morning. The weather, it just looked like it could very possibly be a bad day," said Rick Ratliff, who worked with Christa.

And it was for those who knew Christa. A day some say they cannot let go of.

"I go out to the crash site and it's like my connection with her. It's the last place she was known alive," said Dingess.

She was a hero to several, a friend to many, and is missed by all.

In honor of their fallen hero, people in the community gave blood to save lives this afternoon.

Dozens of people will gather at a memorial service at the Paintsville Fire Station One tonight at seven.

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