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Tenn. paramedic killed in crash honored at funeral

Zach Pruitt was remembered by his colleagues as a “determined young man” who “loved his work”


By EMS1 Staff

JACKSON, Tenn. — A paramedic who was killed last week in an ambulance crash was honored by hundreds of first responders at a funeral.

The Jackson Sun reported that hundreds of first responders joined the family of paramedic Zach Pruitt at the Englewood Baptist Church to honor him after he was killed while transporting a patient to the hospital.

Pruitt was remembered by his colleagues as a hard worker with a love for his job.

“He loved his work, and I’m finding that out more from family how much he truly did love his work,” Medical Center EMS Operations Manager Paul Spencer said. “That’s our God-given call, to just do what we love, and he loved caring for people.”

Pruitt’s mother, Deborah Wood, gave his eulogy and shared stories that highlighted his sense of humor and “can-do attitude.” She added that she was humbled by the time she got to spend with him.

The paramedic, who was also a U.S Army veteran and Purple Heart recipient, was described as a “giver” by Rev. Glynn Jones.

"[He was] not just a paramedic,” Jones said. “He was a giver himself. One who cared.”

Formal Medical Center EMS supervisor Andy Rice told Pruitt’s family that his “brothers and sisters” in the EMS field would continue to support them, and continue his work while they grieve.

“God gives us a heartbeat for the sick and the injured,” Rice said. “And in spite of the long hours and sometimes perilous dangers, we put on our uniform, we zip up our boots, we climb aboard that rig screaming into the night to do what we can to answer somebody’s call for help. We must continue to put on our uniform, zip up our boots, and wait for those tones to drop. I believe it’s the most fitting tribute we can pay to one who gave his all.”

Dozens of emergency vehicles accompanied Pruitt’s body after the funeral to his final resting place at Highland Memorial Gardens.

A fleet of ambulances flashed red lights as uniformed first responders gathered around Pruitt’s flag-draped casket, and central dispatch radioed Pruitt for his last call.

“Farewell, friend,” the voice over the radio said. “Until we meet again, God bless.”

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