Lancaster County (SC) Paramedic Dies from COVID-Related Complications

The photo shows the side of an ambulance with a blue Star of Life.
File Photo

A Lancaster County Emergency Medical Services worker has died after a battle with COVID-19, officials said.

Richard McKinney, 45, passed away from what appears to be COVID-related complications, said Clay Catoe, director of Lancaster County EMS.

McKinney had been hospitalized in Rock Hill while battling COVID, Catoe said.

McKinney had been with Lancaster EMS for eight years and was dedicated to the job, Catoe said. McKinney had a special interest in teaching and training new EMS workers, Catoe said.

McKinney, a Rock Hill native, dressed up as Santa Claus for several events for children at area fire stations during the holiday season, Catoe said.

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“Richard would do anything for you,” Catoe said.

On Aug. 17, Lancaster County EMS workers and others from public safety and emergency responder agencies held a prayer vigil for McKinney.

Emergency responders from York, Chester, and Lancaster counties are expected to escort McKinney from Rock Hill through Fort Mill and back to Lancaster County later Tuesday in a processional, Catoe said.

The escort Tuesday afternoon is expected to include EMS vehicles, fire vehicles, and police vehicles, Catoe said.

The route is expected to leave from Piedmont Medical Center in Rock Hill and travel north to S.C. 160 in Fort Mill. The procession will head east on S.C. 160 toward Lancaster County, then south on U.S. 521 into Lancaster.

A memorial service is planned for next week in Lancaster at Second Baptist Church, Catoe said.


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