Paramedic killed in ambulance crash got start in rural Sunman
Before Cody Medley came to Indianapolis to work in the city's EMS department, he was a volunteer fireman in Ripley County. He was seventeen years old when he told his mother his life's ambition was to join the fire department.
The people who taught Medley the basics, along with a little direction, are the Sunman Rural Fire Department. Everyone on the department pays their own way. The uniforms are not provided by the department. They are not paid to put on a tie and shine up their dress uniform. Their day job supports the job they love the most: being a fireman.
Most everything Cody Medley knew about being a fireman, he learned on his own time at the Sunman fire station. It was much to chagrin of his mother Stacy Weldishofer that when he was 17 years old, he joined the Sunman Rural Fire Department as a cadet.
"He said, 'Mom, I want to be a firefighter.' And I said, 'Cody, I'm looking at you right now and it is like you are four years old and your chin doesn't even come above the top of the table and you are telling me you want to run into buildings that are on fire,'" said Weldishofer, speaking at a memorial service Wednesday.
Soon after making that announcement at the kitchen table, Medley he was on his way. He was quickly know as Sunman Fire Fighter number 77 and began working alongside some of the most experienced fire fighters in the area.
With ease, Medley earned the required certifications that put him where he really wanted to be: in an ambulance working as a paramedic.
William Craig, who is now the fire chief for Sunman, remembers when Medley started in their cadet training program.
"It was kind of nice to see what he had progressed to, not the little boy that was coming in the firehouse any more. He had grown into a man and was doing what he liked to do," said Craig.
The Sunman Rural Fire Department has never lost a firefighter or EMT in the line of duty. Dave Smith was the fire chief of the Sunman Fire Department when Medley signed on as a cadet.
Smith told Eyewitness News even though Medley was working in Indianapolis, "Our hearts are aching. If we could put a 20-foot monument in front of the station right now, God bless this man for what he has done with his career, it wouldn't be big enough," said Smith.
In Sunman, they will always consider Cody Medley as one of their own. He will be buried in a private family ceremony later this week.