Southern Oklahoma Ambulance Service and community honor fallen heroes with bridge dedication
ARDMORE, Okla. (KXII) - Southern Oklahoma Ambulance Service employees and the Ardmore community are remembering fallen heroes with a bridge dedication event on Wednesday.
“We’re all tight, so this incident devastated us, it really did, not just from a working stand point, but from a family point of view,” former S.O.A.S. first responder and co-worker Jared Cheek said.
For first responders like Jared Cheek, its a family culture.
“They were here when I started here many years ago, and Shawn helped train me when i came to Southern Oklahoma Ambulance Service and I ended up being partners a lot of the time with Shane, we were all like one big family,” Cheek added.
Paramedics Shawn Skelly and Shane Gilmore were working at a traffic accident in 2002 along I-35, when they were struck and killed by an out of control SUV.
“They were both fantastic individuals, and unfortunately they died doing what they love, and we’ll miss them very deeply,” Cheek said.
The Southern Oklahoma Ambulance Service and community members gathered Wednesday to reflect and honor Skelly and Gilmore’s service with a bridge dedication in their names.
“Its extremely important for the community to recognize these first responders and the sacrifice that they’ve made, because every day these guys put their lives on the line and its just really important that we memorialize their sacrifice and dedication,” Oklahoma Representative Tammy Townsley said.
Cheek says its a way to honor their legacy.
“Its wonderful, its something to keep their names alive, some of the things that they represented, they loved the job, they loved the mission, they worked very hard for the community,” Cheek stated.
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