E.M.S. Workers Remember Ronnie Collins

Morristown (WVLT) -- Ronnie Collins, Director of the Morristown-Hamblen E.M.S. passed away Saturday afternoon at the age of 47 years old.

Co-workers say Ronnie Collins went into cardiac arrest after getting home from work.

For those who knew him, they say he was a young man who left a life-long legacy in East Tennessee.

"Ronnie was an all-around good boss, I mean he was everybody's best friend," according to Stephanie Johnson who worked as an E.M.S. Paramedic under Collins. "Everybody felt really close to him."

He was the Morristown-Hamblen E.M.S. director for eleven years.

"Through Ronnie's leadership, he has brought the services up to one of the top-notch services in the state of Tennessee," said Morristown Emergency Rescue Squad member Jimmy Peoples. "I think the citizens of Hamblen County certainly owe this man a debt of gratitude for what he's done."

Collins passed away with his own E.M.S. crew trying to save him.

"Apparently he had already suffered cardiac arrest prior to them meeting to assist him," Peoples said.

According to Stephanie Johnson, it has been very difficult not only on the the crew that was trying to save him, but for the each person who knew him.

"It's just been hard on everybody. It's been really quiet around here."

Co-workers say he truly cared about everyone he came in contact with.

"Everybody else came first in his life," Peoples said. "If he could do something for somebody else, that was his main goal in life."

"He was an emotional person," Johnson said, "he was so caring. He would give the shirt off his back. He'd do anything for you."

And he always had a contagious smile, one that could cheer up anyone.

"When he comes in, he's always a very happy fellow," according to Peoples. "He brings with him a source of happiness."

That happy feeling Collins carried is gone from the E.M.S. department now.

"At this point, everyone is still in a state of shock because him being only 47 years old, this is something that you really didn't expect, you're never ready for."

But the service will continue, just as Collins would want.

"Ronnie would be so pleased that everything would continue without a missed beat."

For many of Collins employees he was the greatest boss anyone could ask for. A man who will former be irreplaceable.

"Somebody will take the position," Johnson said, "but nobody will ever be able to fill the shoes."

The family of Ronnie Collins will receive friends on Tuesday evening from five to nine at the Manley Baptist Church in Morristown.

The funeral will be Wednesday, 2 pm, at the Manley Baptist Church with burial following in the Hamblen Memory Gardens.

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