‘HOOSIERS WE’VE LOST’: ‘All you need to do is ask’ — Friends remember EMT Scott Gordon

Editor’s note: This is one of a continuing online series of profiles of the more than 12,000 Hoosiers who have died from COVID-19. The stories are from 12 Indiana newspapers, including The Republic, who collaborated to create the collection to highlight the tremendous loss that the pandemic has created. The series appears daily at therepublic.com.

Name: Scott Gordon

City/Town: Columbus

Age: 56

Died: Nov. 15

The EMS family of Scott Gordon, his coworkers and friends and some whose lives he saved gathered for a final farewell to the EMT/paramedic lost to the COVID-19 pandemic.

On a windswept rainy tarmac near Cummins Aviation at the Columbus Municipal Airport, two Columbus fire trucks displayed a huge American flag over the dais, where co-workers and EMS officials honored Gordon’s legacy to Columbus Regional Health’s ambulance service and his service in Indianapolis and Fort Wayne.

A Columbus Regional Health ambulance covered in a black shroud was nearby. Columbus and fire department honor guards, along with bagpipers, flanked the dais, and dozens of Gordon’s co-workers wearing masks huddled together at the front, several weeping and sharing hugs during the ceremony and when the bugler played “Taps.”

Gordon’s funeral came six days after his unexpected death at Columbus Regional Hospital on Nov. 15 at age 56.

He was believed to have been exposed to the virus after his partner on the ambulance also became infected. He is the first CRH employee who has died from COVID-19, hospital officials said. Gordon was working in a supervisory role as shift coordinator for CRH EMS Services, but still providing patient care, before his death.

Described as a superhero by some, Gordon was remembered for his passion working as a paramedic and for training the next generation of EMTs and paramedics.

Melissa Hill, a CRH paramedic who had worked with Gordon for about 15 years, described how Gordon approached on-boarding new EMS personnel.

“Through the past 15 years, the thing I will always remember is that he said to me, ‘I will always be around to help. All you need to do is ask,’” she said.

Describing Gordon as a paramedic’s greatest supporter and most vocal critic, Hill said Gordon taught his students to master the skills necessary to do excellent work.

Bartholomew County E911 conducted the final radio call for Gordon, saying “9603 (Gordon) is 10-42, he will be deeply missed.” The radio call 10-42 refers to ending a tour of duty.

At EMS headquarters, mourners carrying white carnations placed them on a tarp near an ambulance in honor of Gordon.

As the procession left the airport, at the first turn, a Columbus police officer held a sign that said, “Thank You,” as the vehicles passed by.

And further down the procession route, two local residents were holding a sign that said, “Goodbye friend.”

— Contributed by The Republic, Columbus

An ambulance carrying the remains of Columbus Regional Hospital paramedic/EMT Scott Gordon parks at the Columbus Regional Hospital EMS Base in Columbus, Ind., Saturday, Nov. 21, 2020. Gordon contracted COVID-19 during his line of work as a paramedic/EMT on a Columbus Regional Health ambulance. He died on Nov. 15 after and eight-day battle with COVID-19. Mike Wolanin | The Republic
An ambulance carrying the remains of Columbus Regional Hospital paramedic/EMT Scott Gordon parks at the Columbus Regional Hospital EMS Base in Columbus, Ind., Saturday, Nov. 21, 2020. Gordon contracted COVID-19 during his line of work as a paramedic/EMT on a Columbus Regional Health ambulance. He died on Nov. 15 after and eight-day battle with COVID-19. Mike Wolanin | The Republic
Columbus Township Fire Chief Dave Thompson holds a folded American flag during a funeral and memorial service for Columbus Regional Hospital paramedic/EMT Scott Gordon at Columbus Municipal Airport in Columbus, Ind., Saturday, Nov. 21, 2020. Gordon contracted COVID-19 during his line of work as a paramedic/EMT on a Columbus Regional Health ambulance. He died on Nov. 15 after and eight-day battle with COVID-19. Mike Mike Wolanin | The Republic
Columbus Township Fire Chief Dave Thompson holds a folded American flag during a funeral and memorial service for Columbus Regional Hospital paramedic/EMT Scott Gordon at Columbus Municipal Airport in Columbus, Ind., Saturday, Nov. 21, 2020. Gordon contracted COVID-19 during his line of work as a paramedic/EMT on a Columbus Regional Health ambulance. He died on Nov. 15 after and eight-day battle with COVID-19. Mike Mike Wolanin | The Republic
Carnations rest on a tarp in front of an ambulance carrying the remains of Columbus Regional Hospital paramedic/EMT Scott Gordon at the Columbus Regional Hospital EMS Base in Columbus, Ind., Saturday, Nov. 21, 2020. Gordon contracted COVID-19 during his line of work as a paramedic/EMT on a Columbus Regional Health ambulance. He died on Nov. 15 after and eight-day battle with COVID-19. Mike Wolanin | The Republic
Carnations rest on a tarp in front of an ambulance carrying the remains of Columbus Regional Hospital paramedic/EMT Scott Gordon at the Columbus Regional Hospital EMS Base in Columbus, Ind., Saturday, Nov. 21, 2020. Gordon contracted COVID-19 during his line of work as a paramedic/EMT on a Columbus Regional Health ambulance. He died on Nov. 15 after and eight-day battle with COVID-19. Mike Wolanin | The Republic