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Charles Sawkins, a thirty-six year member of Rural/Metro and an icon in the local EMS community died yesterday. Mr. Sawkins began his career in Emergency Medical Services (EMS) in 1971 and over the course of thirty-six years established many benchmarks for others to follow. Mr. Sawkins became one of Central New York's first Medical Emergency Technicians in 1971 and one of the area's first Advanced Emergency Medical Technician's in 1975. Mr. Sawkins also played an active role in the implementation of Emergency Medical Dispatching in the 1980's and worked as a system status controlling and communications supervisor. During Emergency Medical Services week in May of 2007 Rural/Metro honored Mr. Sawkins with its first ever lifetime achievement award for his accomplishments and dedicated its communication center by renaming it the "Charles J. Sawkins Communication Center".

For all his accomplishments, employees of Rural/Metro best knew him as the person who never forgot a birthday. Mr. Sawkins took time to give every employee a birthday card and hand written note on their birthday each year. He will truly be missed.

Calling hours will be held on Friday from 3 - 7 PM at Russell H. Schepp & Son Funeral Home, 109 East Avenue, Minoa. Funeral services will be held on Saturday at 10:00 AM at the First United Methodist Church of Minoa, 250 East Avenue, Minoa.

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