N.C. first responders mourn the loss of paramedic, educator
Erica Ransom Parks was escorted by a Lumberton Rescue and EMS ambulance with her husband following in a fire truck
LUMBERTON, N.C. — "Thank you all for loving my wife the way you did."
Those were the words shared Wednesday on social media by Austin Parks, referring to Erica Ransom Parks, a local educator and Robeson County paramedic who passed away Wednesday at Duke Hospital.
Local first responders and community members mourned the loss of Parks Wednesday and helped provide her with a homegoing escort worthy of the public servant who was cherished by loved ones, colleagues, fellow first responders and friends.
"She was an amazing person, friend and mentor to so many people. Erica was a paramedic for Robeson County EMS and Lumberton Rescue for many years. She was most recently a paramedic instructor for the curriculum program at RCC," a statement released by Lumberton Rescue and EMS reads in part.
"LREMS is forever grateful for the hard work and dedication she gave to our organization. Please continue to keep her family in your thoughts and prayers in the difficult days ahead," the statement reads.
Parks was escorted by a Lumberton Rescue and EMS ambulance with her husband following in a fire truck, according to Jamie Lynn Norris, who told The Robesonian Parks was her best friend.
The route included traveling down Interstate 95 to Exit 20 near Robeson Community College before traversing N.C. 211 through Bladenboro and arriving at Bladen Gaskins Funeral Home & Cremation, Norris said.
"I want to say thank you to everybody for all y'all's prayers and support, Erica Ransom Parks is gone to be with the lord this morning she fought it to the very end," Austin Parks wrote.
He had previously released updates about Parks' health challenges on social media.
"Please keep the family in your prayers as we face some of our worst days ahead," he wrote.
A small crowd of people stood behind Building 17 at Robeson Community College to honor Parks' memory as the late first responder and multiple emergency vehicles passed by the college, according to Cheryl Hemric, RCC's Public Information officer.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with Erica's family," said RCC President Melissa Singler. "She was a phenomenal instructor who cared deeply for her students and for the EMS program."
Parks began her journey teaching at RCC in 2016 as a part-time instructor before being named Emergency Medical Services Program director in 2020, Hemric said.
"She taught various EMS classes including EMT; EMS Clinical Practicum I, II, and III; Pharmacology; Advanced Airway Management; Cardiology I and II; Patients with Special Challenges, Medical and Trauma Emergencies, Life Span Emergencies, and the EMS Capstone course," Hemric said in a statement.
Parks was to teach in the EMS Bridge Program this fall, according to Hemric.
"Her legacy will live on through the students she has taught at Robeson Community College and the many lives that she has touched," Singler said. "She will be greatly missed."
(c)2022 The Robesonian (Lumberton, N.C.)