BOLIVIA, N.C. (WECT) -If you saw flashing lights in Brunswick County Tuesday, the ambulances and fire trucks likely weren’t going to a call, but were escorting a beloved first responder family to a memorial service.
Tuesday morning, loved ones remembered the life of Brandon Tysinger, a paramedic who died following a motorcycle crash last week in South Carolina. He fought for his life in the hospital for several days until he passed away.
All of the honors were on display, including a flag line, a procession led by the motorcyclists of the Red Knights and the Patriot Guard riders, a bag pipe player and a helicopter fly-by.
Police, fire and EMS workers across the region stood side by side to show respect for the family, and to remember the young father.
“My heart skipped a beat with that — the turnout was just amazing and that helicopter came in and does its little tip and it comes in and acknowledges… ” said Brunswick County EMS training coordinator Rich Burns. “If that doesn’t get you choked up a little bit, I don’t care how much experience you have, I know it’s gonna.”
Burns knew Tysinger since he was a kid and trained him to save lives. The EMS family as a whole got to watch Tysinger grow up, marry and have children.
”He and his wife — you can tell there was a very loving relationship there. He was definitely the epitome of a family man,” said Phillip Britt of Brunswick EMS. “He worked with fire, EMS; he volunteered; his wife has done the same thing. She’s been a paramedic; she’s working as a telecommunicator. They’ve always looked for a way to give back to the community.”
In addition to his drive to help his fellow man, the service at Brunswick Community College’s Odell Williamson Auditorium also showcased his humor, wit, and appreciation for a good laugh.
Attendees laughed at several points in the service as colleagues like Burns told funny stories about station pranks, potato guns, and likened Tysinger to a “kid trapped in a 42-year-old’s body.”
“The sting is there right now, but time will take the sting away eventually. But everyone’s gonna have the ache and they’re going to have the thing that they miss, but somewhere along the line, that ache is going to become a smile, it’s gonna become laughter.” said Burns. “We’re going to miss him so much.”
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