State EMS memorial in the works; fundraising underway - WDRB 41 Louisville News

State EMS memorial in the works; fundraising underway

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB)---EMS workers put their lives on the line every day when people need help.

Sometimes, it's the ultimate sacrifice.

Up until now, there have only been permanent memorials in Kentucky for police and firefighters.

Juniper Hill Park in Frankfort, Kentucky is home to the state's firefighter memorial, recognizing the men and women who have died in the line of duty.

"Kentucky does not currently have an EMS memorial to recognize those who have given the ultimate sacrifice," says Mike Sutt, Chairman of the Kentucky EMS Memorial Foundation.

Since EMS is the newest field in public safety, there really aren't a lot of memorials, a lot of things to honor those who have given their lives in the line of duty, so our goal is to change that," says Eric Johnson, board member and Supporting Heroes Executive Director.

The Kentucky EMS Memorial Foundation was established in 2010, and recently a design was approved, complete with the EMS star of life symbol.

It is expected to be placed next to the state firefighter memorial. 

"EMS workers make a big difference. We saw in Boston, everyone agrees the mortality was dramatically reduced because of the quick response of EMS personnel," says Eric Johnson.

Yearly in the U.S., approximately 160 police officers, 100 firefighters, and 50 EMS workers die in the line of duty.

When the state EMS memorial is built, more than two dozen fallen Kentucky EMS workers will be remembered.

"There's not as many line of duty deaths in EMS, but there are still many and they deserve to be recognized," says Eric Johnson.

Fundraising is now in the works for the memorial.

It's expected to cost nearly $175,000 dollars to make this a reality.

"It's very important. Anytime our public safety workers give the ultimate sacrifice, they need to be honored and recognized in the proper manner," says Mike Sutt.

"To make sure their service and sacrifice is never forgotten and with this memorial, we'll make that happen," says Eric Johnson.

Fundraising for the state EMS memorial is now underway, and they hope to complete the project in the next two years.

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