EMS Workers Lost In Line Of Duty Honored In Gulfport

Sunday is the first day of National EMS Week.

A ceremony in Gulfport Saturday honored the memory of fallen EMS workers who have lost their lives in the line of duty.

The names of the 62 fallen EMS workers were called out and a bell was rung in their memory.

The bell tolled once for retired Major James Carroll Archer.

The Wren, Mississippi pilot died in a helicopter accident in Tippah County earlier this year.

"Emergency medical personnel respond from something as minor as a child falling from his bike, to chemical spills, multiple wrecks on the interstate, fire, Hazmat situations, here on the gulf coast, part of our beautiful community is hurricanes," said AMR's Chris Cirillo.

While no EMS workers were killed in the line of duty here in South Mississippi this past year, there were plenty of close calls, like the Flash Printing Fire in Gulfport last December.

"Here you had a building that has chemicals inside of it. Here you have a building that's well involved. There's lots of smoke, lots of fire. There's traffic still coming when the first units started getting there. There's any one of a number of issues we face, and that's what we do with every fire," said Gulfport Fire Chief Pat Sullivan.

Chief Sullivan says career EMS workers are aware of the dangers but put that fear aside because what they do isn't just a job, it's a calling.

AMR organized the event.

This is the first time it's been held.

The Gulf Coast EMS Memorial Service is expected to become an annual event.