Ervin to be honored at national memorial
- Troy Foster
- Madras Pioneer - News
>Paramedic was killed last year
May 21, 2003 — Bob Ervin, a local paramedic who was killed on New Year's Day 2002, will be honored this weekend at a national emergency medical services memorial ceremony in Roanoke, Va.
Ervin's name will be engraved on a brass leaf as a tribute to the ultimate sacrifice he made in the line of duty. His leaf will join 267 others on the Tree of Life, a permanent national memorial to EMS personnel who've lost their lives working to save others.
Bob Ervin's widow, Marian, calls the upcoming service a "great honor."
"I'm sad, but proud," Marian Ervin said. "I feel that this is one of the greatest honors that anyone could bestow."
Bob Ervin died on Jan. 1, 2002, while responding to an accident just south of Madras. A passing semi tractor trailer lost control on the icy, fog-clouded Highway 97 and toppled over him.
Several days later, hundreds of emergency response personnel from across Oregon and Washington converged in Madras to honor the late hero at an emotional memorial service.
A roadside memorial consisting of a wooden cross and American flag still mark the location of the tragic accident that took the seven-year Jefferson County Emergency Medical Service veteran.
Bob Ervin was 43 when he died. He'd been in the business for 21 years and was in charge of training emergency medical technicians and firefighters in rescue skills.
"It was a big loss to our department and to our community and I think this a good deal," said Don Heckathorn, assistant manager of Jefferson County EMS.
Heckathorn and Suzi Bean, a Mountain View Hospital nurse, will accompany Marian Ervin to the national memorial service, which will be held May 24.
Bob Ervin is the first EMS provider from Oregon to be honored at the national memorial. His name and 15 others from eight states -- including some who died at the World Trade Center on Sept. 11 -- will be immortalized Saturday on the Tree of Life.
More than 700 EMS providers and family members from across the nation are expected to attend.
The Tree of Life is a special display in To The Rescue Museum, a national EMS exhibit in Roanoke. The national memorial service for EMS personnel was established in 1992 by the Virginia Association of Volunteer Rescue Squads.
Family members and colleagues of those lost will receive an American flag that flew over the U.S. Capitol, a white rose and a medallion.
Marian Ervin said the past year has been tough without her husband, but the community has provided an outpouring of support.
"I'd like to thank everybody from Jefferson County that's been supportive the last year and a half, especially EMS and the care providers of Mountain View Hospital," she said.