Pa. community mourns death of recently-retired veteran flight paramedic
Lehigh Valley Health Network MedEvac Flight Paramedic Don Shambo, 63, died on Monday after a short battle with illness
By Laura French
LEHIGH COUNTY, Pa. — A Pennsylvania community is mourning the loss of a flight paramedic who died on Monday, shortly after his retirement from a 45-year EMS career.
Lehigh Valley Health Network MedEvac Flight Paramedic Don Shambo, 63, retired in November after 30 years with MedEvac and nearly a half-century of service as a first responder, according to FOX 29.
Shambo had been diagnosed with cancer prior to his retirement and died after "a short battle with illness" and weeks in intensive care, MedEvac Director Bryan Evans told FOX 29.
"Don has been a pillar of the both MedEvac and the entire EMS Community in the Lehigh Valley for decades," read a statement from Suburban EMS in Easton following Shambo's death.
According to Suburban EMS, Shambo joined the Whitefall Fire Department as a teenager, served with the Whitehall Emergency Squad after becoming an EMT, and became a paramedic in 1980, later joining Lehigh Valley Health Network MedEvac. He was also a past president of the Lehigh County Ambulance Association.
Several other local first responder agencies also shared their condolences on social media.
"Today, the EMS community in Eastern Pennsylvania lost a genuine hero," read a Facebook post from Delaware Township Volunteer Ambulance. "We will certainly miss his smile, his laughter, and his knowledge."
"Don has touched so many lives from treating the sick and injured to sharing his knowledge educating fellow providers," wrote the City of Bethlehem EMS, on Facebook. "Our sincere condolences to the Shambo family and his colleagues."