Bells toll, plans for memorial announced to honor fallen Kentucky EMTs

Published: Sep. 15, 2021 at 10:47 AM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Bells tolled in Lexington Wednesday morning at the annual Kentucky EMS Conference and Expo to remember EMTs who died in the line of duty.

It’s the first time EMTs have been able to gather together and remember the fallen since 2019.

It was a somber way to start the annual conference, but, in a way, it’s cathartic.

“The last year and a half in the COVID pandemic for EMS, I know we focus a lot on the hospitals, but EMS is transporting those folks everyday and our providers across the state are doing that,” said Dan Durham, Kentucky EMS Memorial Foundation Board of Trustee’s Chairman. “To finally be able to come together with other providers outside your normal day to day routine, make sure that everybody’s doing okay, give a little support, have a little time to blow off a little steam, it’s very important and the EMS memorial service and the EMS conference gives us the opportunity to do that.”

Durham led the memorial service Wednesday morning, honoring the 34 EMTs recorded in Kentucky’s history who lost their lives in the line of duty.

Durham says his organization has two goals - to host an annual memorial service for EMTs and to build a lasting memorial in Frankfort. Wednesday morning, he was able to show those designs.

“Kentucky Firefighter Association, they’re building, they’re expanding their memorial, so, we’re working with them so we kind of do that construction together,” Durham said. “So, it’s possible that some of our construction will begin next year in 2022.”

For now, Durham says that having each other is important and remembering the bond they all share will never truly die.

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