Retiring paramedic receives emotional sendoff over dispatch

Highlands County Paramedic Kerry Harris, who retired after 30 years, was surprised by his father during his last shift

By Laura French

HIGHLANDS COUNTY, Fla. — A Florida paramedic who retired Tuesday after 30 years of service received a heartwarming surprise during his final sign-off.

Highlands County Paramedic Kerry Harris, who worked with the county since 1989, was 10 minutes from completing his final shift when the dispatcher asked all available medic units to "come up on the Comm." 

Harris was overcome with emotion as he heard the voice of his father, Wayne Harris, Highland County's first EMS director, delivering a final sendoff message for his son. 

"Highlands County's EMS system is relatively new. Only in existence since 1975, there have been few employees that have reached full retirement here," said Highlands County's Public Safety Director and FireRescue1 Executive Editor Marc Bashoor. "Kerry is a homegrown paramedic who played out his entire public safety career in Highlands County.

"To have his father not only be able to see his son come up through the system and retire from the agency he was the first Director for, but to also be able to give this sign off, was very touching for Kerry."

Listen to the full audio below:


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