Tenn. paramedic dies while hiking the Great Smoky Mountains

His brother and park medics performed CPR for an hour trying to save Harold Thompson, 58, after he went into cardiac distress while hiking

By Joe Marusak
The Charlotte Observer

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — A 58-year-old man hiking with his brother in Great Smoky Mountains National Park went into cardiac distress and died, despite an hour-long attempt by his brother and park medics and rangers to revive him, officials said Saturday.

Harold Thompson, a Knox County Paramedic, experienced distress about 2 p.m. Friday, 1 1/2 miles from the Greenbrier Ranger Station, according to a park news release. The station is about 7 miles from Gatlinburg.

The brothers were hiking in the Injun Creek area toward Grapeyard Ridge Trail, officials said. The trail reaches an elevation of 2,540 feet and is rated moderately difficult, according to Hiking In The Smokys.com.

“Thompson’s brother, an EMT, administered CPR along with park medics for about an hour,” a park spokeswoman said in the release. Emergency responders also applied an automated external defibrillator.

Thompson was pronounced dead at about 3 p.m. He was taken by Gatlinburg Fire Department emergency responders to LeConte Medical Center in Sevierville, Tenn.


It is with great sadness we share the passing of one of our own. Knox County Paramedic Hal Thompson passed away while...

Posted by International Association of EMTs and Paramedics (IAEP) Local R5-421 on Friday, August 9, 2019


©2019 The Charlotte Observer (Charlotte, N.C.)


McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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