INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Two medics who died in the line of duty were remembered Wednesday by co-workers as young men dedicated to helping save lives, while friends and relatives recalled their fun-loving nature.
About 1,000 mourners filled Butler University's Clowes Memorial Hall for Wednesday's memorial service for Cody Medley, 22, of Indianapolis, and Tim McCormick, 24, of Greenwood.
They became the first emergency services workers in the city's history to be killed in the line of duty when their ambulance collided with a car early Saturday. McCormick died at the scene, and Medley died Sunday.
Dr. Charles Miramonti, chief of the Indianapolis Emergency Medical Services, said he's struggled to find meaning in their deaths but hopes that their service and love of community inspires others.
"Cody and Tim were driven to serve and simply help those around them ... and seek nothing in return," he said. "I want you to connect with that. Let their example, their lives resonate in your hearts and move your own hands to action."
Lt. Gov. Sue Ellspermann, Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard, Sen. Joe Donnelly and other officials joined family members and hundreds of medics, police officers and firefighters in paying tribute to Medley and McCormick.
"Their calling was saving lives, and they did it well," Ballard said.
Ballard postponed the annual State of the City address because of the deaths of Medley and McCormick. The speech is rescheduled for March 8.
Medley's mother, Stacy Weldishofer, described her son as a practical joker and avid outdoorsman who liked to hone his dancing skills.
"He wasn't the best dancer," she said, drawing laughter from the crowd. "I told him one time, you need to just act really silly. ... so that's what he did."
She said Medley decided at age 17 to become a volunteer firefighter but sometimes had to negotiate to be able to go out on calls because she was a "strict mom" who often grounded him.
"He'd come in the room and he was going to get one week and he'd walk out with six every time," Weldishofer said.
She said she's comforted knowing that the lessons she tried to teach her son about being a considerate person had taken root, as evidenced by the outpouring after the ambulance crash.
"Even though his life was cut short ... the gift you gave to me to know that my son did grow up to have that character and have you as friends, to know that I succeeded, I can never thank you enough for that," she said.
Medley's father, Jeff Medley, described his son as his best friend and a man who took "100 percent pride" in his work.
"Cody had an absolutely beautiful heart. ... Cody was my hero," he said.
McCormick's partner, Alex Brinley, said despite his grueling schedule, McCormick always was eager to spend time with friends.
"He lived life to the fullest, and he did his best to make sure others did as well," he said.
Family friend Levi Blake said McCormick was an Eagle Scout who was fluent in Mandarin and studied in China while in high school. He had earned his political science degree at IUPUI in December.
"His message to you would be stay strong, and never give up on your dreams," Blake said.
Brinley said McCormick and Medley always played pranks on each other and were fun to be around.
"They made a great team," he said.
Police said the ambulance carrying Medley and McCormick had the right of way when a car driven by 21-year-old Jade Hammer collided with it early Saturday.
Marion County prosecutors are awaiting toxicology tests that will show Hammer's blood-alcohol content and help them decide if she'll be charged in the crash.