Fallen EMT Cody Medley followed his dream

William Craig
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Before Cody Medley walked into the fire station in Sunman, Indiana, he wanted to become a paramedic. Once inside the department, his fate was sealed.

At the age of 17, Medley started as a cadet for the department. When he was 18, he earned his firefighter certification.

William Craig is the Fire Chief for the Sunman Rural Fire Department. Craig knew Medley had the extra something, the drive and motivation, to have a great career. Craig said Medley was an EMT before he turned 20, "I think before he was 19, I mean he was doing what a lot of us took years to get to that point."

His career should not have ended on the side of a cold Indianapolis street.

For the three short years that Medley served the Sunman Fire Department, he was nothing but focused on his career. "I guess that was a little bit more outstanding about him was he had a tunnel vision on what he wanted to do," said Craig.

But the Sunman Fire Department, like so many departments in Indiana, is an all-volunteer department. Craig knew that holding on to Medley and his ambitions wouldn't last.

So after three years, Medley handed in his resignation letter. He had been hired to work as a paramedic in Indianapolis. "That makes us feel proud," said Craig, "to let us know he got to go up there and do some things he wanted to do. And, you know, it was a life choice of him too."

It was late Saturday night when the news of Medley's injuries arrived at his old fire house. Sunday morning, before the sun broke through the cold rural Indiana countryside, his colleagues at the Sunman fire department lowered the flag in his honor. And they posted a the old fashioned way on a sign along the highway, declaring that one of their own had passed away doing what they say he was born to do.

The Sunman Fire Department has never lost a fire fighter or EMT in the line of duty. They consider Cody Medley one of their own. Many of them will make the hour-and-a-half drive to Indianapolis for his memorial service on Thursday.

"He always said he wanted to be a paramedic," said Craig. "To see him go up there it was nice to see he followed his dream."

Sunman Fire Department's tribute to Cody Medley