Pa. paramedic remembered for her service, personality

Hundreds of EMS personnel join family and friends to honor Livingston, the first female emergency medical services representative to be presented with the U.S. Honor Flag

By Ron Musselman
The Tribune-Democrat

JOHNSTOWN, Pa. — West End Ambulance Service paramedic Janice Livingston was remembered Friday for being “a great mother” and for her “contagious, infectious smile.”

“She lost her life at a young age doing what she loved to do,” pastor Wendy Henderson of the Calvary United Methodist Church said during an hour-long funeral ceremony Friday in front of hundreds of mostly emergency medical services personnel at the Cambria County War Memorial Arena.

Livingston, 38, died four days ago when she was hit by a tri-axle truck while working at the scene of a trio of accidents in Upper Yoder Township.

“Janice was a true hero Monday when she was taken from this life,” Henderson said.

Livingston was a 1994 Greater Johnstown High School graduate and the mother of two young daughters - Miley and Gabriella.

“Janice was a great mother,” said Henderson, who said she knew Livingston for a year and a half as a member of her church. “The true tragedy in all of this is that Jan’s two young daughters will not have their mother with them the rest of their lives.”

Livingston, who received full honors, was the first female emergency medical services representative to be presented with the U.S. Honor Flag.

She also was the first person killed in the line of duty for Johnstown’s West End Ambulance Service in 40 years.

Downtown streets were closed for hours to make room for Livingston’s funeral procession.

During her service, emergency vehicles were lined up three across for two blocks on Market Street, waiting to escort her to Benshoff Hill Cemetery.

Chris Heisler, president and co-founder of the Honor Network, arrived in Johnstown with the U.S. Honor Flag Thursday night. In talking with Livingston’s family and friends, he said a common theme was evident.

“They all said her laugh was contagious,” he said. “She was a hero. She brought these people together, some of whom she never knew or met, to honor her.”

Livingston was a paramedic supervisor and training officer for West End Ambulance Association and a part-time paramedic for Hilltop Ambulance Association. She also was a CPR instructor and a member of Lower Yoder Volunteer Fire Company, where her three brothers and father are also belong.

“It’s very clear that her life was about giving back and helping others,” said Richard Gibbons, director of the Bureau of EMS in Pennsylvania.

“People whom she trained and helped will continue to honor her legacy going forward.”

Ira Hart, director of the West End Ambulance Service, said:“Janice ... go be with God. We’ll take the next call.”

©2015 The Tribune-Democrat (Johnstown, Pa.)

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