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Ky. EMS agency honors its founding director

Bob Gainer, a rescue squad member and Westwood firefighter, was on the job in July 1977, when Boyd County EMS took its first call


Photo/Boyd County Emergency Medical Services

By Henry Culvyhouse
The Daily Independent

ASHLAND, Ky. — A small gathering of EMTs and other first responders came out Wednesday afternoon to honor the achievements of Boyd EMS’s first director.

Bob Gainer, a member of the Boyd County rescue squad and the Westwood Fire Department, was the director in July 1977 when Boyd County EMS took its first call.

Gainer served in that role until 2007, “raising some of these guys from pups,” he said.

Current EMS Director Brent Turvey also said Gainer served in various capacities on the Kentucky Ambulance Provides Association, helping move ambulance services out of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services into a free-standing state ambulance board.

Gainer told the gathered those years were the best of his life.

“I had the time of my life for all those years and it went by just like that,” he said. “All of the sudden, I turned around and I was 79 years old.”

Gainer said he felt sad for some of the changes at King’s Daughters Medical Center, stating he “would almost come out of retirement to fight it.”

“We can bring you back if you want,” Turvey said.

“I said almost,” Gainer replied.

The ceremony was a complete secret to Gainer, who said he didn’t see it coming. Turvey said the department decided to give the award to Gainer ahead of a major surgery he’s expected to undergo.

Also in attendance was Ashland Fire Chief Steve Alley and Ashland Police Chief Todd Kelley.


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