OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – An EMSA EMT, John Thompson, died after a motorcycle crash Saturday afternoon near Northwest 5th and Walker.
He was also an Army veteran.
Alex Schendel, who was Thompson’s partner for a year at EMSA, says he was one of the most reliable people he knew.
The beginning of their friendship may seem comical.
“When I first met him, I told him before, like, ‘oh, kind of thought you were going to be a bully or something like that,’ because he’s a really big guy, and I’m a little guy,” Schendel said.
Thompson was the exact opposite.
“He’s super reliable, super helpful, super nice,” Schendel said. “He was great under pressure, great with patients.”
Thompson was headed to work when the crash happened.
When Schendel’s supervisor first told him what happened, he says he couldn’t believe it.
“When I first heard, I thought, ‘oh, it’s JT. He’s huge, he’s tough, he’s bigger than life. Surely it’s not going to hurt him,” he said.
Sadly, Thompson died from his injuries at the hospital.
“Obviously it hurt. I was sad, I was angry. He’s helped so many people before, and didn’t have anyone there to help him. At the same time, everyone did what needed to be done,” Schendel said.
Schendel says he wants people to know what a great person Thompson was, and there’s one memory from the middle of a party that will always stick with him.
“He just straight up told me, ‘you’re a much better medic than you give yourself credit for.’ He basically told me he was proud of me, and he hugged me, and I never forgot that. I was never really great at displaying my emotions to him, but I was really thankful for having a partner as great as him, and I wish I would’ve told him that when I had the chance,” he said.
Schendel also says Thompson was trying to be a field training officer at EMSA, and he was going to write him a letter of recommendation.
The president of EMSA, Jim Winham, released a statement that reads in part:
“John Thompson was a well respected, dedicated individual who was a veteran and an integral part of the EMSA team. John will be greatly missed by everyone who was fortunate enough to know him.”