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Knoxville Volunteer Emergency Rescue Squad


The Ronnie Patterson Memorial Scholarship Fund




 Ronnie Dale Patterson

01/16/1959 – 12/25/2013

This fund has been set up to honor one of the most dedicated, and hardworking volunteers we have ever had the honor of calling a co-worker.  Born in Tellico Plains, Ronnie experienced a challenging childhood. Before the age of 10, he lived in multiple foster homes.  However, he kept pushing forward with a positive attitude, refusing to let life push him down.  While attending Tellico Plains High School, he played football, basketball, and was senior class president.  Even in those days he was the loving, caring, “Gentle Giant” that we all knew.

With multiple challenges as a child & being bounced around from home to home, Ronnie could have given up, like so many of us today are so quick to do. But he didn’t, he pushed through.  The challenges he faced, is where his humble, loving, and thankful attitude stemmed from.  At the age of 14, he became interested in the medical field.  It all began with Monroe County Rescue Squad and Woods Memorial Hospital.  At Woods Memorial, he met a gentleman who was instrumental in his career, Dr. Lynn Massingale.  Dr. Massingale gave him the funding, and moral support to complete his EMT certification. He then became a licensed Paramedic on February 26, 1979, with the State number of 6285.

He served as the first Paramedic in Monroe County.  He was also the first Paramedic to record a Cardiac Arrest save, using one of the defibrillators that they had.  From Monroe County, the “Gentle Giant” ventured out to the big city of Knoxville, serving with the Knox County and East Tennessee Ambulance Service.  He was also part of the initial staff in 1985 when Rural Metro started serving Knox County.  In 1992, he started serving Knox County in a different capacity.  His official title was Knox Counties EMS Coordinator.  He oversaw EMS operations for the county and ensured that the 911 contract was met.  He would show up on calls, always willing to lend a helping hand.

During this time, he began his time as an educator.  He began teaching EMT and Paramedic classes at Roane State Community College.  Many EMT’s and Paramedic’s serving today had him in some capacity as an educator.  Ronnie volunteered his time for several decades at the Knoxville Volunteer Emergency Rescue Squad.  He later served for more than a decade as a very valued member on the Board of Directors as the Medical Committee Co-Chair for the Rescue Squad.

Ronnie volunteered thousands of hours training and teaching others, with a passion that only he could exude.  That training has touched thousands of lives, saved thousands more, and laid the foundation to make the Knoxville Volunteer Emergency Rescue Squad what it is today.

This fund is being set up in his honor because teaching others was what Ronnie was so passionate about. We hope to continue his legacy by ensuring that others will follow in his footsteps.  You can help his legacy to live on by donating to the “Ronnie Patterson Memorial Scholarship Fund”.  This fund will be used to send one or more dedicated volunteers from the Knoxville Volunteer Emergency Rescue Squad to school to become a licensed Paramedic.

Click here to Donate to the Ronnie Patterson Memorial Scholarship Fund